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Young boy hospitalized after shark bite
DESTIN -- A young boy is in the hospital in good condition after authorities say he was bitten by a shark in Destin. It happened around 3:30 PM Saturday afternoon in the waters of the Gulf behind the Silver Beach Towers condominiums.
The boy is estimated to be about 10 to 12 years old.
Melissa Reuter, a vacationer staying at Silver Beach Towers, said, "When I was at the pool, I noticed, I heard sirens coming. I saw just a little bit. His hand was wrapped up in like a beach towel. They had his head covered up in towels."
Crew members at the complex say the boy was in about up to his waist when he was bit. Double red flags were flying, meaning he should not have been swimming in the Gulf.
Reuter said, "The waves were gigantic. The biggest Ive ever seen 'em here."
Firefighters say the boy was bitten by a shark that witnesses describe as being about four feet long. They say he had a significant sized wound on his right forearm.
"It's heartbreaking to think of any kind of child being injured on vacation, being frightened and he did seem pretty upset," said Reuter.
Firefighters and crew members say the boy remained conscious, talking with them throughout the ordeal. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
"It's not surprising at all," said Chuck Hames, who lives in one of the condos and works at the facility as a contractor. He said he frequently looks out on the water from atop the towers.
"People are walking 20 feet off shore, they don't realize, they gotta big shark just right off there," Hames said, "They're totally oblivious to it. Around these storms, they come in closer, everything gets shoved in."
Staff members at the condo say the boy's parents were nearby during the incident.
You may remember a possible shark attack was reported last month when a man was bitten in the foot while swimming off Pensacola Beach.