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Posted: May 31, 2017

Florida captain known to hand-feed sharks hospitalized after bite from ‘sea creature’

(Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images
(Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

By Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

PALM BEACH, Fla. —

The captain of a Florida dive boat that specializes in shark encounters was bitten on the hand Sunday, suffering injuries severe enough that he was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center

Palm Beach County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Teri Barbera said the sheriff’s Marine One unit picked up Randall Jordan, the captain of Emerald Charters, after a distress call that he was bitten by a “sea creature.” 

Jordan was in good condition, but still in the hospital Tuesday, according to a St. Mary’s Medical Center spokesman. His sister, Deborah Toohey, said he had to undergo “reattachment surgery.”

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“He tries to teach people to not be afraid of sharks,” Toohey said. “He’s an avid environmentalist when it comes to sharks.” 

Jordan did not return calls Tuesday.

In 2015, Jordan was sentenced to a year of probation, a $1,500 fine and 100 hours of community service after he was convicted of three misdemeanor charges stemming from illegally feeding sharks in Florida waters. 

Florida banned feeding sharks in state waters in 2001, but it is still legal in federal waters, said Amanda Nalley, public information specialist for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Marine Fisheries Management

George Burgess, who investigates bites for the International Shark Attack file at the Florida Museum of Natural History, said a bite that occurs when someone is feeding a shark is considered a “provoked” incident. 

Burgess said he will investigate the bite. 

“The impression that shark diving operations give is that it’s a perfectly safe operation,” Burgess said. “It’s generally safe, but not perfectly safe.” 

Jordan isn’t the first charter operator bitten while on a shark excursion. 

In 2011, Jim Abernethy was flown to St. Mary’s Medical Center after being bitten on the arm. The bite happened about 18 miles north of West End, the Bahamas.


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ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

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(Photo by Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Video shows great white shark breaking cage with diver inside

A diver on a boating trip to Guadalupe Island, might have seen his life flash before his eyes.

Warning: Profanity can be heard in the background audio:

A great white shark breached the side of the cage while diver Ming Chan was inside.

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"What might appear to be an aggressive great white shark trying to attack the cage, this is not the case. These awesome sharks are biting at large chunks of tuna tied to a rope," the man who posted the video, who did not want to be named, wrote on YouTube. "The diver is a very experienced dive instructor, remained calm, and when the shark thrashed back outside the cage, the diver calmly swam back up and climbed out completely uninjured."

Footage shows the shark repeatedly flipping and turning. At one point, its body lay on top of the cage on the surface of the water.

“It happened so fast. The other divers just kept telling me how lucky I am,” Chan told ABC News.

Chan, who survived unscathed, plans to go back into the water. 

 

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