Another bite: THIRD shark attack for Florida since last Saturday!

8:53 AM, May 11, 2006   |    comments
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BOCA GRANDE, Florida (AP) -- A shark-bitten Austrian tourist is scheduled for surgery in southwest Florida tonight to repair tendons and ligaments in his ankle damaged by the shark.

Lee Memorial Hospital officials say 19-year-old Armin Projer is expected to make a good recovery.

He was bit in the ankle on Friday as he stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico off Boca Grande. That's about 84 miles south of Tampa.

Paramedics say the wound was consistent with a shark bite and witnesses say they saw the shark. Projer was bitten near the lighthouse at Gasparilla Island Beach.

The beach remains open to swimmers.

This is the latest in a string of shark attacks off Florida's coast. Two other young people have been bitten since Saturday in gulf waters off Florida. Friday's bite happened far from the others -- about 280 miles south of where 16-year-old Craig Hutto was bitten on Monday.

Hutto, who is from Tennessee, lost his leg in an attack off Cape San Blas in the Panhandle.

Last Saturday, a 14-year-old Louisiana girl was killed when she was bitten near Destin.

Experts believe bull sharks attacked both teens in the Florida Panhandle.

The type of shark involved in the Boca Grande attack isn't known.

Experts point out that shark attacks are rare, pointing out that there were only 30 in 2003 among the millions of people who hit the state's beaches.

Most of those attacks were minor bites on the feet or ankles. Last year, when four hurricanes kept many visitors away, there were 12 attacks.

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