Animals

Tennessee Man Vacationing in Florida Says Shark Bit and Broke His Leg Before It Swam Off

A 39-year-old Tennessee man named Terrell Moore was swimming off Okaloose Island -- located in Florida's Panhandle -- with his wife and 11-year-old son yesterday. They were about 75 yards from shore when Moore suddenly bolted below the surface, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News.

"He got on the second sandbar and was kind of standing up," Moore's wife, Melissa, told the paper. "All of the sudden, he went under a little bit and popped back up... He started swimming really fast."

Initially, first responders thought Moore had been fishing, which they assumed triggered the accident. Moore wasn't, but a couple of fishermen within 15 feet were, something George Burgess -- curator of the International Shark Attack File -- thinks brought on the sharks. He also says Moore's broken foot was caused by the pushing and pulling from after the animal had latched on.

"The fishermen are very attractive to sharks," he told the Northwest Florida Daily News. "Fishermen and bathers and surfers don't mix. It's your typical hit-and-run attack -- grabs a human and then lets go. No Jaws music in the background. If you're rotating your ankle around something that's holding it, you can break some bones. If he hadn't broken his foot, he might have gotten a stitch or two on his lacerations and a good bar story."

Despite a broken foot and two puncture wounds, it could have been worse for the vacationing family.

"We're happy everyone's here and everyone's safe," Melissa Moore said.

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Ryan Cortes