MARATHON, Fla. – An Atlanta man’s pregnant wife jumped into the water and pulled her husband to safety after he was bitten in the shoulder by a bull shark Sunday in the Florida Keys, according to Monroe County Deputies.
Andrew Charles Eddy, 30, was snorkeling on a reef along with family on a private boat near Marathon in the Florida Keys when witnesses said he was attacked “almost immediately” after entering the water at Sombrero Key Light.
The deputy, who identified Eddy’s wife as Margot Dukes, 29, from her Georgia license, said that she told him that her father, sister and sister’s boyfriend got into the water and began snorkeling — that was when her husband jumped into the water wearing a mask, snorkel and flippers and was immediately attacked.
The deputy wrote: “Dukes saw the shark’s dorsal fin and then blood filling the water. Without hesitation, she dove into the water and pulled Eddy to the safety of the boat. The family called 911.”
Hear the 911 Call below: (This call may be disturbing to some listeners)
While investigating the incident, the Sheriff’s Office received information from boaters that they had previously seen a bull shark in the area. The shark was described by witnesses as eight- to 10-feet in length.
Eddy was airlifted from Marathon Airport to Miami’s Ryder Trauma Center Sunday morning at approximately 10:30 a.m. for a wound to his shoulder while snorkeling near the Overseas Highway. The injury was described by rescue personnel as “severe.”
“It was a pretty severe injury,” Battalion Chief Ryan Johnson of Monroe County Fire Rescue said. “The patient was in critical condition. The bleeding was controlled when the patient was picked up,” Johnson said.
No one else was injured. It is not known how far along the woman is in her pregnancy.
Investigators said there was no fishing or chumming in the water near where the group was snorkeling. Shark attacks are rare occurrences especially in areas like Sombrero Key, where fishing and chumming aren’t allowed.
But experienced fishermen like Captain Jack Callion said anyone who goes into the water is taking a chance. “This isn’t a ride at Disney World. There’s inherent risks and sharks is one of them,” Callion said.
Marathon is 50 miles north of Key West.