A woman was attacked by a shark in the Florida Keys. There’s an update on her condition
A 35-year-old Texas woman who was attacked by a shark with her family in the Lower Keys a week ago is recovering from a large wound to her leg, Florida Wildlife Police said Tuesday.
"Surgery went well and she has started physical therapy," Jason Rafter, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said in a text message.
The update differs from the horrific moments detailed in the FWC's report of a shark biting the woman off Summerland Key on June 29 -- a rare occurrence in Florida, particularly the Keys.
FWC released the report on Tuesday, almost a week after the shark bite and after the incident was not announced at all. On Friday, Rafter confirmed a woman had been bitten by a shark but didn't provide details and said the full report would be made available after July 4.
Lindsay Rebecca Bruns of Flower Mound, Texas, was on a pontoon boat east of Sawyer Key on the Gulf side with her husband and two daughters.
Around 8 p.m. on June 29 — 20 minutes before sunset that day, according to the National Weather Service — they stopped to take a dip in the clear, calm water, which was about 10 feet deep.
The mother jumped into the water several times from the top platform of the boat.
Then she did a flip. That's when her husband Luke Bruns, 42, heard a huge splash - too big to have been caused by his wife, he told state wildlife officials.
He turned and saw more water splashing and sloshing over and into the ship.
Then he saw nothing but blood in the water.
His wife emerged from the water and yelled, "Help!" Luke Bruns jumped in and helped her to the boat ladder and onto the pontoon.
"He saw the large wound on her right leg consistent with a shark attack," the state agency report said.
As blood spurted from his wife's leg, he used a rope as a makeshift tourniquet to try to stop the bleeding. He called 911 and was told to take her to Tonio's Seafood Shack on Summerland Key.
Officials help the family
Lindsay Bruns was left with a semicircular wound on her right leg, the report said.
"It extended from her waist to just above her knee," wrote FWC Officer Christopher Boley, who met the pontoon upon arrival and showed Luke Bruns where to park it.
"It appeared to be from a jagged impact and there were puncture marks on her thigh consistent with a shark attack." Boley wrote.
Boley pulled out his FWC-issued tourniquet and placed it on Lindsay Brun's leg until paramedics arrived. He and other FWC officers helped place her on a backboard and into the ambulance.
She was ferried from Monroe County to Jackson South Medical Center in Miami-Dade by Trauma Star helicopter. During the flight, she received a blood transfusion, according to Monroe County spokeswoman Kristen Livengood.
Lindsay Bruns was in stable condition when she arrived at Miami-Dade Hospital.
Most shark bites happen in the United States, and the state where most of them occur is Florida, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History's International Shark Attack File, which tracks annual shark bites worldwide.
FWC has not confirmed what type of shark bit Bruns.
Typically, it's smaller shark species that mistake human limbs for prey, but rarely leave life-threatening injuries in their wake. Florida had 28 shark bites last year, none fatal. Volusia County topped the list with 17 shark bites, followed by Brevard, Miami-Dade and St. Lucie counties - all with two bites each, according to ISAF.
The Keys shark bite report also shows that FWC officials did all they could for the family that night.
Boley and other officers washed the blood off the pontoon while Luke Bruns tended to his daughters.
An officer later drove the pontoon back to the 1000 block of Ocean Drive in Summerland, where the Bruns family was staying at the time.
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