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Longboat Key man talks about shark attack | News

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Longboat Key man talks about shark attack

St. Petersburg, Florida --  The odds were against 21 year old CJ Wickersham.

According to the International Shark Attack File, your chances of being attacked by a shark are 1 in 11.4 million.

Wickersham is living to tell the story about his attack.

He tells our news partners at WWSB in Sarasota, he was spear fishing off the coast of Anna Maria Island when he saw something swimming toward him.

Related Story: Bay area man in fair condition, recovering from shark bite

"I thought it was my buddy and I realized it was a shark," said Wickersham.

There was no time to getaway; the 10 foot bull shark took a bite out of his thigh as his friends watched in horror.

"When I looked, it was still on there, luckily it didn't shake.  It could have been a lot worse if he would've shook or something like that," he explained.

The details from then on are hard to remember.  He does recall his friend Connor jumping in after him and his other friends calling 911.

He credits his six friends for saving his life.

"I am so lucky I was with those guys.  They knew what they were doing.  They saved my life," he said.

Wickersham is recovering at Bayfront where he's undergone several surgeries and received about 800 stitches.

He may be able to go home by this weekend.

Despite the wound left behind, he's grateful to be able to share his story.

"I want to thank my friends for being there and the doctors and just everyone for having me in there thoughts and prayers," he said.

When asked if he plans to get back in the water anytime soon, he said eventually...but only to scuba dive.

Shark experts say shark attacks are very rare and that the shark likely going after the fish and didn't intend on making a meal out of Wickersham.




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