Sharks kill Fla. kiteboarder in state's first deadly attack since - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sharks kill Fla. kiteboarder in state's first deadly attack since 2005

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A 2007 photo provided by Chris Shultz shows Stephen Schafer kiteboard surfing. Schafer, 38, was was fatally attacked by sharks off a Stuart, Fla., beach Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010. A 2007 photo provided by Chris Shultz shows Stephen Schafer kiteboard surfing. Schafer, 38, was was fatally attacked by sharks off a Stuart, Fla., beach Wednesday, Feb 3, 2010.

STUART, Fla. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a deadly shark attack off South Florida's Atlantic coast on Wednesday.

Stephen Schafer had been kiteboarding about 100 miles north of Miami, when a lifeguard spotted him in distress about 500 yards off the beach. Paddling out on a surfboard to help, the lifeguard found the 38-year-old bleeding and surrounded by several sharks.

Once back on shore, Schafer was taken to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

Despite the incident, beaches in the area remain open.

Experts say shark attacks are extremely rare. George Burgess with the University of Florida's Museum of Natural History says about four fatal attacks occur around the world each year. While Florida has more reported shark attacks than anywhere else, Schafer's death was only the 14th fatality in the state since 1896.

Still, Burgess says people are entering "a wild world" when then go into the ocean, and they need to be careful.

 

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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