Shark bite: Florida man seriously injured while spearfishing in Gulf

ANNA MARIA ISLAND — A 21-year-old man has suffered serious injuries after being bitten by a shark while spearfishing in Southwest Florida.

Authorities said the shark bit Charles Wickersham's leg so hard on Saturday that his thigh bone was exposed. Officials think it may have been a bull shark.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported Wickersham lost a substantial amount of blood from the 15-inch gash and was flown to a St. Petersburg hospital. His injuries are not considered life threatening.

Wickersham, of Longboat Key, was spearfishing in 40 feet of water about 3 to 6 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico around 3 p.m. Saturday when the shark attacked. It is only the fifth reported unprovoked shark attack in Manatee County since 1882.

Anna Maria Island is a Gulf Coast barrier island south of Tampa Bay.

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