Shark Attacks Teenage Surfer In Northeastern Brazil

As reported by The Associated Press

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) – A shark attacked and seriously injured a 14-year-old surfer Wednesday off the coast of northeastern Brazil, a fire official said.

Juan Rodrigues Galvao de Franca was bitten in the leg while surfing off the Del Cifre beach in Pernambuco state, said fire department spokesman Wilton Miranda said.

The surfer managed to break lose from the shark’s jaws and swim ashore, Miranda said. He was rescued by a passing ambulance crew.

Galvao da Franca suffered a deep gash in his left leg and lost a lot of blood, but was expected to recover, officials said.

The attack occurred in an area that is off-limits to bathers and surfers because of frequent shark attacks, now totaling 52 since authorities began keeping track in 1992.

There are signs all over the place warning of the danger of shark attacks, Miranda said. Even if the kid did not know how to read, every surfer, no matter how young, knows very well that this beach is off limits.

Just 10 days ago a shark ripped off the right hand of another 14-year-old swimming along the coast of Pernambuco, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of where Wednesday’s attack occurred.

Fire officials say sharks have killed 19 people in Pernambuco state over the past 15 years.

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