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Second shark-attack victim recovering

6/30/2005

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The parents of a 16-year-old boy who
lost his leg in a shark attack thanked his rescuers Thursday,
saying the doctor, three nurses and emergency medical technician
who treated him on the beach saved his life.

Roger and Lou Ann Hutto said their son, Craig, would have died
if not for the quick action of the five, who happened to be
relaxing on the Cape San Blas beach where their son was attacked
while fishing in waist- to chest-deep water Monday. The attack came
two days after another teen was killed by a shark at another
Florida Panhandle beach.

"Words will never express how grateful we are, how thankful we
are," Roger Hutto said. "If it hadn't been for those people, I
don't think we would be standing here today." The rescuers helped
stem the blood flow until paramedics arrived to take the boy to the
hospital. Their names have not been released.

The boy, a high school baseball and basketball player in
Lebanon, Tenn., was listed in stable condition Thursday at Bay
Medical Center.

Speaking in an appearance at the hospital, the Huttos said their
son has kept his spirits high despite losing his leg and even joked
when his mom said their next vacation would be horseback riding.

"Momma, I'll get kicked in the head," his mother quoted him as
saying.

The shark ripped off part of Craig's right leg, which had to be
amputated. His brother, Brian, fought off the shark, preventing
worse injuries.

"Something bumped him and he immediately kind of backpedaled,"
Brian said Thursday on ABC's "Good Morning America." Then he saw
the fin and quickly realized it was a shark.

"I grabbed hold and started going back to shore," Brian said.
"I remember at one point grabbing Craig's arm and I remember
hitting (the shark) at least once."

On Saturday, a 14-year-old girl, Jamie Marie Daigle, of
Gonzales, La., was killed by a shark as she swam off Miramar Beach
near Destin, about 80 miles west of where Craig was injured.

Lou Ann Hutto said the family had heard about the attack on
Jamie, but never thought something like that would happen to them.

The Huttos said their son plans to continue his athletic career
after he gets his prosthetic leg.

Jamie and Craig are believed to have been attacked by bull
sharks, a breed responsible for many attacks on humans and common
off the Gulf Coast.

"The bull sharks historically use the northern Gulf of Mexico
as a pupping area, where they drop their young," said George
Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the
University of Florida.

"They've always been very common in this area, so it's not a
surprise, certainly to us in the scientific world, that these
attacks involved bull sharks," he said.

Four years ago on another Panhandle beach, a bull shark bit off
the right arm of then 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast of Ocean Springs,
Miss. His uncle wrestled the 6{-foot shark ashore, the arm was
pulled from its gullet and doctors successfully reattached it at a
Pensacola hospital. Jessie, however, continues to suffer brain
damage due to blood loss from the attack.