Before American media was slammed with devastating images and breaking news of 9/11, a different sort of media frenzy took over. It all started on the beach.
Between July and September 2001, an alarming number of shark attacks across the country became the main stories behind every news broadcast. The coverage of these attacks felt obsessive, so much so that it was deemed the “Summer of the Shark.” And while the actual number of shark attacks by year’s end was lower than the previous year, these vicious shark attacks quickly became the third largest news stories of the summer.
The inciting incident was a bull shark attack along the shore of Langdon Beach, Florida.
It was Fourth of July weekend and eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast was enjoying his day at the beach with his family.
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While preparing for his last swim of the day, Arbogast was greeted by an unwelcome guest in the water — a seven-foot-long, 200-pound bull shark.
Arbogast remained frozen in fear as the shark approached and gripped his right arm in his mouth and bit it off all the way up to the shoulder.
Quick to respond to his nephew’s injuries was his uncle Vance Flosenzier, who rushed into the blood-soaked waters to pull Arbogast to safety.
Ignoring the pleas of his family members, Flosenzier ran back into the water in an attempt to rescue the boy’s severed arm.
Defying the odds, the man was able to overpower the shark and drag him back to shore, where a park ranger shot and killed it.
With the help of bystanders, Flosenzier was able to buy the shark’s gullet and rescue his nephew’s arm.
The arm was put on ice and rushed to the nearby hospital to which Arbogast was life-flighted.
Arbogast was given more than 30 pints of blood and was forced to endure more than 11 hours of surgery. Thankfully, doctors were able to reattach his arm.
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(via Sydney Bulletin)