While on a family vacation in Florida last week, the Atlanta-based couple, accompanied by Duke-Eddy’s parents, his sister, and her sister’s friend, decided to spend the day swimming and snorkeling aboard a private 20-foot motorboat, so the Miami Herald first reported the story.
The family set out to explore the marine life of Sombrero Reef in the Florida Keys, the 125-mile chain of islands that begins south of Miami.
Andrew Eddy, 30, did not hesitate to jump into the water with several other people from nearby boats. Almost immediately after entering the water, a shark – described by witnesses as an 8 to 10 foot bull shark – slammed into Eddy and clung to his shoulder, according to witnesses.
Dukes-Eddy, watching from the boat, immediately jumped into action.
As Deputy Christopher Aguanno wrote in his report to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, she saw “the shark’s dorsal fin and then blood filling the water,” and “without hesitation plunged into the water, pulling Eddy to the safety of the boat “.
Eddy was immediately taken to Sombrero Beach and then flown to a nearby Miami hospital, where the injury to his shoulder was classified as serious, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office.
Dukes-Eddy did not respond to a request for comment.
There was no one “fishing or throwing up” the water where the group was snorkeling, and there were no other reported injuries, Aguanno confirmed.
Monroe County, about 160 miles southwest of Miami, has seen only 17 confirmed and unprovoked shark attacks since 1882, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File – making this case all the more surprising.