Monday, April 03, 2006

April 3rd Shark Bites Boy on Marco Island

In an unusual and unecessary situation on Marco Island around noon today (April 3, 2006) a boy was bitten on the arm by a feeding shark. According to newspaper reports, the lad was walking with his Dad on Sand Dollar Island off Tigertail Beach on Marco Island, when they spotted a school of baitfish thrashing around in the water.

It would seem that Dad and son didn't understand this fishy behavior and the boy thought it would be great fun to swim into the middle of the frenzied baitfish, which he did. It was a hungry shark causing the baitfish such concern. If you have ever seen baitfish trying to get away from a predator, you can understand the chaos in the water. The shark was biting and chomping everywhere trying to get a bite of some unlucky fish before they all got away. The boy had his arm in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Fortunately the shark realized the boy's arm was not a fish and let go before serious damage was done (according to the story as reported thus far).

If after reading this, you find yourself thinking that YOU would not have known not to let your kid run and jump into a school of baitfish, then you desperately need to download my FREE book on beach safety. It is a 72 page ebook in pdf file format. All you need in order to read it is the free Adobe Acrobat software that nearly everyone has on his or her computer. It is called "How to Be Safe From Sharks, Jellyfish, Sting Rays, Rip Currents, and Other Scary Things on Florida Beaches and Coastal Waters." It has color pictures and everything. Print out a copy and bring it to Florida with you. The kids can read it in the car or on the plane or in the airport or whatever.

It's FREE. Really. You don't even have to give your email address to download it. What are you waiting for!

David McRee,

Kayaking the Nations #1 Beach: Fort Desoto Park

Florida Beaches
It's amazing that so much nature can be so close to the most densely populated county on the west coast of Florida. But Fort Desoto County Park has an abundance of nature, and despite heavy weekend use by residents and visitors, the park staff keeps the park very clean and well-maintained.

One of the most popular activities in the park is kayaking. You can launch your own kayak from almost anywhere within the park, or you can rent a kayak from the Canoe Outpost, located in the park just steps from the water. They'll give you a guidebook to the canoe trail, help you get in the kayak and answer any questions you may have.

In the park you will find plenty of sheltered backwater kayaking as well as some open bay waters. You can also kayak in Tampa Bay or the Gulf of Mexico. There are other islands nearby that you can visit which are not in the park, such as Shell Key.

Although marine life has not completely recovered from the episode of red tide we had in 2005, it is making a come back and we saw plenty of mullet, snook, sheepshead, and some bird life. Of course during the early morning and evening hours wildlife is much more visible. And, if you go on a weekday when there are fewer people, you will see more wildlife, perhaps even some manatees and dolphins.

We recently took a four-hour kayak trip in the park and had a great time in a rental kayak. Why don't you check out the photos I took and read about our trip?

David McRee, BeachHunter