A Georgia man’s vacation in Florida was rudely shattered this weekend after he was attacked by a shark moments after he jumped in the water.
Andrew Charles Eddy, 30, was bitten in the shoulder “almost immediately” after entering the water while snorkeling with his relatives from a private vessel at Sombrero Key Light off Marathon early Sunday, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
“The Sheriff’s Office received information there was a bull shark in that area by boaters who were there previously,” the department said in a statement Sunday. “The shark was described by witnesses as eight to 10 feet in length.”
No one else was fishing or chumming in the area where Eddy’s family, who are from Atlanta, was snorkeling prior to the attack, officials said.
The stricken man was taken to Sombrero Beach after the attack before being airlifted to a hospital for “severe” injuries to his shoulder, authorities said.
Adam Linhardt, a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said he had no update on Eddy’s condition as of early Monday.
Eddy was taken to Ryder Trauma at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Linhardt said. A hospital spokeswoman declined to provide an update on his condition when reached early Monday.
Monroe County officials believe the shark that attacked Eddy was a bull shark, though they said they cannot be certain.
“It seems likely that it was a bull shark, but we can’t say definitively,” Linhardt said. “We may never know.”
Eddy’s relatives immediately started giving him first aid before deputies and Marathon Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene, Sheriff Rick Ramsay said.
“This was a very rare medical crisis for the Florida Keys, but everyone came together – including those witnesses on the boat to 911 communicators to all our emergency responders – in order to ensure this victim received life-saving care,” Ramsay said in a statement.