Pool Noodle Keeps Boy Afloat After Shark Attack

Jameson Reeder Jr., 10, lost part of leg after attack in Florida Keys
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2022 2:04 PM CDT
Boy Snorkeling in Florida Keys Loses Lower Leg to Shark Bite
It's believed the fish involved was a bull shark.   (Getty Images / Divepic)

(Newser) – A 10-year-old who was snorkeling with his family in the Florida Keys on Saturday has lost the lower part of one of his legs after being attacked by a shark. Click Orlando reports Jameson Reeder Jr. was at Looe Key Reef around 4:30pm when what was suspected to be an 8-foot bull shark bit him. Jameson managed to stay afloat using a pool noodle and was placed in his family's boat, where a makeshift tourniquet was applied. A passing boat with a nurse on board came to their aid, reports NBC News; when the family made it to shore, Jameson was airlifted to a children's hospital.

Per a Facebook post from uncle Joshua Reeder, "They had to remove/amputate from just below the knee to save his life as it was not operable from the damage the shark had caused. They said the shark made the decision for him and wasn’t anything they could do to save it." Reeder wrote that the area Jameson was in with his parents and three siblings at the time of the attack was a "shallow reef"; he tells Local10 the water depth was roughly 10 feet.

A fundraiser set up for the family has raised about $55,000 as of this writing. The Miami Herald reports that while shark attacks in the Keys tend to be rare, four people have suffered bites off Monroe County, whose county seat is Key West, since April. It quotes the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as saying "experts believe that most shark attacks are cases of mistaken identity, which explains why nearly all shark attacks that occur in Florida waters are of a bite-and-release nature." (Read more shark attack stories.)

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