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from Tampa Bay Online


Ohio Tourist Bitten While Swimming in the Atlantic

Published: Apr 1, 2002

LAUDERDALE-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. (AP) - A shark bit an Ohio swim coach on the arm Monday as the man swam in the Atlantic Ocean.

Matthew May, of Coldwater, Ohio, was in town with a group of children for a swimming tournament at the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

May, 29, was bitten twice on his left arm. Doctors at North Ridge Medical Center, where May received 11 stitches, said the bite appeared to come from a shark.

"I thought at first it was probably a jellyfish," May said at a news conference, wearing a large bandage on his left arm above the elbow. "Then I saw there was blood in the water and blood running down my arm, and I realized it was serious."

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, said it was the fifth Florida shark attack this year.

He told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that the incident was typical of Florida shark attacks - a quick bite, a release and an injury that was not life threatening.

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