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Shark Attack

By: Jennifer Ryan
By: Jennifer Ryan

All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico now because of two major shark attacks in three days. The first killed a Louisiana girl; the second left a 16-year-old Tennessee boy in critical condition.

All is quiet on St. George Island, but it's not the sharks scaring folks away, it's the weather. Gray clouds have moved in, but a few die-hards can be found waiting for the sun while keeping a close eye on the water.

Karen Bragg, visiting from Georgia, said, "We've seen dolphins come close, if they do then sharks probably do also."

That's why Karen and her husband aren't letting their kids out of their sight.

“We were a bit frightened since we have three boys,” she says.

It’s a natural reaction for many vacationers here. With two major shark attacks occurring at beaches just west of the island, many folks are nervous to re-enter the water.

One vacationer says, "It makes you want to stay closer to the shore instead of swimming where you can't touch."

"My mom said I should go out from 11 to 2; that's when they're not feeding," said a St. Louis resident.

Other tips: know your surroundings, always swim in pairs and do not go in the water if you have an open cut or are bleeding.

One more thing: sharks like shiny fish, so don't wear jewelry or even bright bathing suits. As for Karen and her family, they're not budging. A few shark attacks or even rainy weather won't scare them away.

"We're just going to enjoy the rain or sunshine."

All the beaches in Franklin County remain open to the public, but they do not have lifeguards, so it's best to keep a close eye on the kids.


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