There has been another shark attack in area Gulf of Mexico waters, the latest coming Monday morning at Cape San Blas in Gulf County, not far from Port St. Joe.
A 16-year-old boy was fishing in waist deep water with two friends when he was bitten several times by the shark. The victim has been identified as Craig Hutto of Lebanon, Tenn.
The Gulf County Sheriff’s Office says the injured boy and two friends were all from Tennessee on vacation at Cape San Blas. They were fishing with shrimp and had no warning of the impending shark attack.
AirHeart 2, the life-flight helicopter, flew from Marianna to the Cape, picked up the teenager and rushed him to Bay Medical Center in Panama City.
Hutto underwent several hours of surgery at Bay Medical Center. Doctors amputated one of his legs. A spokeswoman says he is now stabilized and still in critical condition.
His injuries are very similar to those sustained by a 14-year-old Louisiana girl who died Saturday following a shark attack just east of Sandestin at Miramar Beach in south Walton County.
Shark Experts tell NewsChannel Seven it is very unlikely that shark involved at the Cape San Blas attack could be the same one that killed the young girl 47 hours earlier 50 miles to the west in Walton County.
The experts say the shark Saturday was a bull shark. They revised its size from the original 11 feet. They now say it was more like six feet long. They don’t think it was the one attacking Monday.
The Gulf County Commission in an emergency meeting in Port St. Joe Monday afternoon closed all of the Gulf beaches from Cape San Blas westward to the end of the St. Joe Peninsula.
The sheriff says a helicopter will survey waters in the area Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and the commission will meet again at 11:00 a.m. to decide if the beaches will remain closed.