Gulf beaches reopen after shark attacks - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gulf beaches reopen after shark attacks

June 28, 2005

Panama City Beach, FL.-  On the beaches of Panama City, people are floating a lot closer to the shoreline than usual.

"It just seems like there's less people in the water, not going out quite as far, the ones that are in the water and that sort of thing," said John Fontanetta, a vacationer from Chicago.

More people are staying out of the water after 14-year-old Jamie Marie Daigle of Louisiana was attacked and killed by what was likely a bull shark Saturday morning in Destin. It is the only shark attack in Walton County history.

Attacks anywhere in the Gulf Coast, including Panama City, are rare. "In the 126 years recorded history, we've had one fatality associated with shark attacks," said Bob Warren, president and CEO of the Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.

Then Monday morning, 80 miles from the scene of Saturday's attack, 16-year-old Craig Hutto of Tennessee was bitten by a shark as he was fishing in shallow waters in Cape Sandblas outside Port St. Joe. His leg had to be amputated, but he is expected to be out of the hospital in a matter of weeks.

"We're in their environment and consequently, Florida does have an occasional shark attack," Warren said.

So most people on the beach are playing where the waves break or staying out of them all together, as helicopters hover over the water and purple flags fly, warning of dangerous marine life.

"I suppose your chances are pretty remote, but I don't know that anybody's taking a lot of chances right now," Fontanetta said.

Because, for many people, the slim chance of a shark attack doesn't make swimming at your own risk worth the time in the water.

Feedback: news@walb.com

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Early Co. Fire Dept. concerned about trees uprooting due to weather

    Early Co. Fire Dept. concerned about trees uprooting due to weather

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:55 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:55:48 GMT
    Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area. (Source: WALB)Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area. (Source: WALB)
    Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area. (Source: WALB)Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area. (Source: WALB)

    Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area.  Saturation and projected high winds have officials concerned about trees uprooting.  

    More >>

    Early County Fire Officials says they're prepared to respond to fallen trees in their area.  Saturation and projected high winds have officials concerned about trees uprooting.  

    More >>
  • Baker Co. concerned with dirt roads during subtropical storm

    Baker Co. concerned with dirt roads during subtropical storm

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:52 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:52:01 GMT
    Sherry Bailey, Baker County EMA Director said they have been working hard to make sure county dirt roads don't flood over. (Source: WALB)Sherry Bailey, Baker County EMA Director said they have been working hard to make sure county dirt roads don't flood over. (Source: WALB)
    Sherry Bailey, Baker County EMA Director said they have been working hard to make sure county dirt roads don't flood over. (Source: WALB)Sherry Bailey, Baker County EMA Director said they have been working hard to make sure county dirt roads don't flood over. (Source: WALB)

    South Georgia is full of dirt roads and in Baker County officials are concerned with the amounts of expected rainfall.  "Anytime we have a rain event, we are definitely concerned about people in the county being able to travel the dirt roads," said Sherry Bailey, Baker Co. Manager and EMA Director.   

    More >>

    South Georgia is full of dirt roads and in Baker County officials are concerned with the amounts of expected rainfall.  "Anytime we have a rain event, we are definitely concerned about people in the county being able to travel the dirt roads," said Sherry Bailey, Baker Co. Manager and EMA Director.   

    More >>
  • Early County prepared for flash flood watch

    Early County prepared for flash flood watch

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:38 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:38:44 GMT
    Commissioner Jeffery Haynes said Early County is ready to respond in case weather get's worst. (Source: WALB)Commissioner Jeffery Haynes said Early County is ready to respond in case weather get's worst. (Source: WALB)
    Commissioner Jeffery Haynes said Early County is ready to respond in case weather get's worst. (Source: WALB)Commissioner Jeffery Haynes said Early County is ready to respond in case weather get's worst. (Source: WALB)

    County leaders Early County are keeping an eye on the flood watch...preparing for the worst.  The county's EMA Director has been watching the weather closely since Thursday in preparation for the storm.  

    More >>

    County leaders Early County are keeping an eye on the flood watch...preparing for the worst.  The county's EMA Director has been watching the weather closely since Thursday in preparation for the storm.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly