Wilson Wong,NBC News•September 23, 2020
A pregnant wife came to her husband’s rescue during a shark attack Sunday in the Florida Keys, local authorities said.
At the time of the accident, Andrew Eddy, 30, was on a private boat with his wife, Margot Dukes-Eddy, and her family near Marathon, Florida, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Upon “immediately after entering the water” Sunday morning, Eddy was attacked by a shark, MSCO said.
The sight of the shark’s dorsal fin and blood in the water prompted Dukes-Eddy to dive off their boat and pull Eddy to safety, Deputy Christopher Aguanno wrote in the report. Eddy was driven by boat to the shore where he was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
As of Tuesday afternoon, his condition was not immediately clear, but Eddy sustained a “severe” injury to his shoulder, the report said. Dukes-Eddy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Several other witnesses from other boats were snorkeling in the area where the accident occurred, according to the report. Boaters told officials that they spotted a bull shark that morning, estimating the fish to be 10 feet long.
There were no other reported injuries nor was there any fishing or chumming activity where the group was snorkeling, officials said.
According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, Monroe County has recorded 17 unprovoked shark bites since 1882. In comparison, Volusia County in northern Florida — better known as “the shark bite capital of the world” — has experienced 312.
Gavin Naylor, program director at the file, told NBC News that it was “atypical for a shark to be this aggressive.”
“We haven’t had a shark bite in Monroe for about 10 years,” he said. Based on witness descriptions, Naylor said that the shark was a “monster size,” but could not confirm whether it was a tiger or bull shark.
Sheriff Rick Ramsay praised first responders, including Dukes-Eddy, who valiantly risked her own safety to save her husband’s life.
“This was a very rare medical crisis for the Florida Keys, but everyone came together — including those witnesses on the boat to 911 Communicators to all our emergency responders — in order to ensure this victim received life saving care,” Ramsay said.
Naylor advised beachgoers to follow common sense and avoid waters if there are any shark sightings.