A 10-year-old boy has had part of his leg amputated after being bitten by a shark in the Florida Keys, his family has announced.
Jameson Reeder Jr. was struck at Lou Key Reef Saturday afternoon, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The child, who was on a boat with his family, was snorkelling in these shallow reefs when he was struck on the leg by what appeared to be a 2.4m ‘bull shark’, his uncle Joshua Reeder said on Facebook.
Jameson Reeder Jr. “miraculously” managed to hang on to a floating foam stick and was saved by family members who put a tourniquet on his leg, Joshua Reeder added.
The boy was hospitalized in Miami with a below-the-knee amputation.
“He is now out of the operating theater and resting,” his uncle wrote.
An online fundraiser started by his family had raised more than $50,000 as of Tuesday afternoon.
An unusually high number of shark attacks off New York State beaches have raised fears in the United States this summer, but the risk of being bitten by the animal remains low.
Locally, the situation varies greatly from year to year, but globally, around 75 shark attacks are still recorded each year. The death toll is about five.
Studies show that sharks that don’t intentionally attack humans, confuse surfers or swimmers with their usual prey.
In the United States, most attacks occur on Florida’s Atlantic coast.