2:11pm: Florida beachgoers rescued after shark attack
Florida has seen two major shark attacks this year, and the state has been on high alert since the August death of the first man to be killed by a shark off the coast.
But authorities are not ready to declare a state of emergency, and some residents are questioning why they have to wait until the end of the week for the threat to diminish before they act.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Wednesday that two people were rescued after being attacked by a bluefin tuna off the town of Bonita Springs, about 60 miles south of Orlando.
Officials said they were searching for another person who may have been injured.
It was not clear whether the two people had been caught.
The Bluefin Tuna Society of America said in a statement that a second bluefin was caught off Bonita in May and was released after being treated at a hospital.
“It’s been reported that two additional bluefin are still in the area and are expected to be released,” the organization said.
“We’re hopeful for an opportunity to rescue these two people from the waters of Florida.”
The group’s president, Chris Brown, said his organization was monitoring the situation and was working to get a better understanding of how the two attacks affected the local community.
“I’m really concerned about how this has impacted the community,” Brown said.
He added that he expected the public to continue to be vigilant.
“But we’ve got to remember that this is a shark attack, and if it’s a shark that has killed a person or a human, that’s just another thing that needs to be dealt with.
We’ve got a shark problem here.”
Brown also urged people to stay off the beach, to wear protective gear, and to check for signs of shark attacks and diversions.
“The longer we wait, the more we’ll be paying for,” Brown told ABC News.
A similar shark attack occurred in January off the island of Jersey, in the Bahamas, and in June off the California coast.
On the other side of the world, a shark was reported off the eastern coast of Japan.
A Japanese fisherman was bitten by a 7-footer off the southwestern island of Honshu on Aug. 26, while on a fishing trip.
No one was hurt in the attack, but it was the first such attack since 2011, according to a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force spokesman.
There are a handful of other shark attacks reported in the U.S. every year.
In 2012, a man was bitten on the leg in San Francisco by a 6-foot-long shark.
The U.K. reported five fatal shark attacks in 2013, including two that killed a man and wounded his wife.
The deadliest was a 5-foot shark that bit a tourist in Hawaii on March 17, 2017.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.