10-year-old Jameson Reeder Jr. was attacked by a shark in the Florida Keys on Saturday, and had one of his legs partially amputated, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Photo by Joshua Reeder/Facebook
Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A 10-year-old boy was attacked by a shark in the Florida Keys and had one of his legs partially amputated, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Jameson Reeder Jr. was on vacation when he was attacked by the shark while snorkeling at Looe Key around 4:30 pm EDT Saturday.
He managed to stay afloat long enough for his parents and a nearby boat to come to his rescue.
"As he screamed and cried for help while miraculously staying afloat on a noodle my brother Jameson gathered his family on the boat and rushed over to rescue his son they saw Jameson jr holding on for dear life and jumped in to get him on the boat," the boy's uncle Joshua Reeder said in a Facebook posting.
He said the family believes the boy was attacked by an 8-foot bull shark, which delivered "a crushing blow to the leg."
The boy was taken to shore by boat and then airlifted to a Miami-Dade hospital, where doctors amputated his leg just below the knee.
"They (doctors) had to remove/amputate from just below the knee to save his life as it was not operable from the damage the shark had caused. They said the shark made the decision for him and there wasn't anything they could do to save it. But his life was spared," Joshua Reeder wrote on Facebook.
An online fundraiser to help the family has already surpassed its $50,000 goal, and had reached more than $56,000 by Tuesday afternoon.
"He is doing quite well," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesperson Jason Rafter told FL Keys News.
"I spoke with his dad and grandfather. They said there is a lot of positive energy coming from the youngster."
More than 13 species of shark use Florida's warm coastal waters as nursery grounds for their pups, the commission said on its website.
"In Florida, sharks typically move inshore and north in the spring and summer, and offshore and south in fall and winter months. This pattern explains why shark activity is at its peak in Florida waters during April through October, which coincidentally, is also the time period that humans are more likely to be in the water."