Shark attack goes from disaster to miracle for soon-to-be father
A coastal vacation unlocked a nightmare for a US family from Atlanta when a bull shark took hold of a soon-to-be father.
His miraculous survival is reflected in the panicked call placed to 911 for help as his pregnant wife jumped into the water hoping to save her husband.
It all started with a snorkeling outing to Sombrero Reef in the Florida Keys. The popular snorkeling spot was where Andrew Eddy, his wife Margot Eddy and her family were planning to go snorkeling on the morning of September 21.
But things went awry as soon as Mr Eddy, 30, splashed into the water.
READ MORE:Pregnant wife of man attacked by shark in Florida 'jumped in to save him'
That's when an 2.5 or 2.7 metre foot bull shark clamped down on Mr Eddy's shoulder.
"It started shaking about, took him down under the water. He thought he was going to drown from a lack of oxygen," said Monroe County (Fla.) Sheriff Rick Ramsay.
"He said he started punching the shark, punching and punching."
As Mr Eddy was fighting for his life with the shark, his wife Margot saw the shark's dorsal fin and blood starting to fill the water where he went in.
Mr Eddy was fighting against the bull shark, which has the strongest bite of any shark in the ocean. He was eventually able to shake free of the shark's grip, but not before suffering a serious injury.
His wife and another person jumped in the ocean, right where the shark just was attacking, to save her husband. They were able to grab Mr Eddy and pull him out of the water and into the safety of their boat.
As that was going on, a frantic call was placed to 911 asking for help from Monroe County emergency.
DISPATCH: 911 where is your emergency?
CALLER: We're at Sombrero Lighthouse and my son-in-law just got bit by a shark in the shoulder. We need help immediately.
DISPATCH: Sombrero Beach?
CALLER: Sombrero, the light house! He got bit on the shoulder please hurry.
The group was told to take their boat to Sombrero Beach in Marathon, Florida. Mr Eddy and his family were met by emergency workers who rushed him to the hospital. His injuries, to his upper body, were said to be severe when he arrived.
Since then, Mr Eddy has been recovering and their story of survival went viral around the world. Ms Eddy sent pictures of the couple in happier times so the world could meet her husband.
She said she's very grateful for the outpouring of support for the couple and their soon-to-be expanding family. Mr Eddy hasn't left Florida yet where he's still recovering.
In a statement to CBS46, Margot said:
We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers and support for our family. Andrew is on the road to a full recovery, and we are thankful that the severity of his injuries are not life-threatening. Our family's top priority at the moment is continued progress, protection, and peace for Andrew, me, and our unborn daughter. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this time.
Ms Eddy also posted a message to her Facebook page that while serious, the biggest upcoming event for Andrew will still happen.
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"Andrew will be using his injured arm to hold his baby girl in just six weeks, and that is a miracle."
While shark bites are common in some parts of Florida, especially the central Atlantic coastal areas, shark attacks in the Florida Keys are very rare. According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File, there have been just 17 unprovoked shark bites in Monroe County since 1882.