A recent barracuda attack in Florida turned out to be just as a bad as a shark attack bite, and almost as fatal.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, roller coaster accident statistics in 2014 show the risk of death from a theme park is actually less than a shark attack. But some companies are working on an automated shark detection buoy that would warn beach lovers if a great white shark is lurking beneath the waters.
When Irwin King took his 13-year-old son Parker fishing, he probably did not consider the threat of a barracuda attack to be that bad in comparison to a shark attack. The father and son were about 18 miles out from Ponce Inlet in Florida when they spotted the barracuda and decided to catch it. When they reeled the 50 pound fish into the boat, all six feet of it flew into the air and its teeth grazed the teen’s bicep and chest.
Because they were so far away from land, they did not even have cell phone reception to call for help, and there was so much blood that King feared the barracuda attack might kill his son:
“I was really… I thought… I was waiting for him to start turning pale because of the amount of blood and everything else. I mean, all I could think of was he’s going to die on me. I would have lost it. I don’t know what I would have done.”
Fortunately, Parker survived the long trip to the hospital, although the damage was severe enough that his wounds required 17 stitches and 27 staples to patch him up.
Parker’s grandmother Shirley was just glad that it was not worse:
“He’s sore. His arm is just a mess. He’s just very lucky. The thing could have [bit] across his neck.”
Ed Matheson, an associate research scientist with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says the fast-swimming barracuda can go airborne very quickly and their teeth can ravage anything in its path. In fact, the dangers from the snapping attack can be compared to a shark attack:
“It’s just like bringing a shark into the boat with you. If you get anywhere near their mouth, you’re going to get cut up. There’s a lot of bite force there in a fish that big. Most of them aren’t as severe as this one. I have heard of bad incidents [in Florida], but they’ve been few and far between.”
To put this barracuda attack in perspective, the recent Florida shark attacks have involved smaller sharks estimated to be between four to five feet long. As previously noted, this particular barracuda happened to be six feet. But no one has ever heard of anyone dying from a barracuda attack in Florida, while shark attacks in 2013 caused two deaths in the United States. Florida alone had 23 shark attacks in 2013, making it the most dangerous state for this type of attack.