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9-year-old Minn. boy on vacation in Miami Beach bitten by shark

A 9-year-old boy and his mother were only in the water a few minutes when the child was bitten by a 4-foot shark.
A 9-year-old boy and his mother were only in the water a few minutes when the child was bitten by a 4-foot shark.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Kristine and Ren Weiskopf, who are visiting Miami Beach from Minnesota, spent most of Sunday at the hospital after their 9-year-old son was bitten by a shark.

Kristine said she and her son, Jay, were in the water only for a few minutes.

“I was holding his hand the whole time and he was kind of body surfing a little bit and he had fallen on his stomach,” Kristine said.

When she pulled him up, Kristine noticed what she said was a chunk of skin missing from the boy’s shoulder.

“He just said, ‘Ow,’ and I looked down and there was about a 4-foot gray shark just kinda swimming away, so I just scooped him up and ran him up the beach,” Kristine said.

Miami Beach Fire Rescue met the family on the sand near Third Street. Jay was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital and rushed in to surgery to close the large wound.

“I just love him so much. He’s such a great kid and we’re still in shock, but thankful. We thank God that he didn’t take his life. That he’s gonna be OK,” the boy’s father, Ren, said.

The Weiskopfs said they’re not only concerned for their son, but also for others out on the water.

“What I don’t like right now is that the beach is still open, and kids are still down there playing, and they are in the same spot where my son just got attacked. I don’t know if it’s just because of spring break of whatever, but the beach should be closed,” Ren said.

The parents said that doctors are worried about the possibility of infection and the long term effects that the injuries could have on Jay’s mobility, but they also told the Weiskopfs that because he is young, the prognosis is good.

“He just wants to go home and it’s really sad because we had so much fun planned,” Kristine said.


About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.