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from Atlanta Journal Constitution


Two injured in shark attacks in Florida, Hawaii

March 26, 2002

Associated Press

COCOA BEACH, Fla. -- A shark bit an 11-year-old tourist Monday as she waded in shallow water on an Atlantic Ocean beach, officials said.

"She had a serious injury to her (left) foot, but it was not life threatening," said Cocoa Beach Fire Capt. Rod Donhoff.

Tori Lawrence, of Sterling, Ill., was standing in knee-deep water when she screamed and began to crawl to the beach, witnesses said.

Lawrence was taken by helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center's pediatric trauma unit, where she was listed in fair condition Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, a two-mile stretch of beach remained closed in Hawaii after a shark bit off the foot and ankle of a teenager.

Harmon Aki, father of 17-year old Hoku, said his son is "doing quite well" despite his injuries.

Hoku lost his left foot and ankle in the attack Monday afternoon as he was body boarding in murky water off Kauai. The teenager told rescuers he "was being thrashed around underwater." The shark released him when he poked it in the eye.

There were more than 50 shark attacks in U.S. coastal waters last year, including more than 35 in Florida.

© 2002 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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