This may be the first known shark attack off the coast of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, an unprecedented incident that left an American male tourist with an injured hand. On Saturday, July 3rd, while on a diving tour in an area outside the barrier reef known as ‘Tackle Box,’ a diver was bit on his left hand by what was described to be a bull shark, although others believe it was a reef shark. According to a report, the tour operator contacted Rickilee Response and Rescue or Triple R around 11AM on Saturday. The tourist identified as 38-year-old John Burnette Hollingsworth by the first responders, was observed with a towel wrapped around his left hand. Upon assessing the injury, it was confirmed to be a shark bite. He was treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II, where a tourniquet was applied to stop the bleeding. An X-ray examination determined no significant damage to the bones. Dr. Joshua A. Canul said he spent over two hours working on Hollingsworth hand. A section of his palm and skin from two of his fingers was reportedly ripped off by the shark’s bite. The wound was treated with internal and external stitches. The diver was advised to seek further medical treatment when he returns to the US. Dr. Canul said the patient will be able to use his hand again as the shark attack did not result in a serious injury.
It is unclear what caused the shark to attack the diver. The unfortunate event has been labeled as ‘unexpected’ as this has never happened before. It is suspected that it was a reef shark, as a bull shark would have done much damage.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
========Visitor Bitten by Shark on Ambergris Caye
A reef shark reportedly bit a tourist during a dive tour off the coast of Ambergris Caye on Sunday. Reports from San Pedro are that the visitor was diving in an area known as Tackle Box. The shark is reported to have bitten his hand, ripping off flesh from his left palm and two of his fingers. He received stitches and fortunately did not sustain any bone damage. While the diving company has declined to be interviewed, they have described the incident as unfortunate and unexpected and insisted that they were not chumming the area to attract sharks at the time. MAR Alliance, a conservation N.G.O., has commented on the incident saying, (Quote) “although there was apparently no provisioning conducted at the time of the dive and the incident, we have strongly suggested for a decade now, that operators refrain from chumming at forereef dive sites nor spear lionfish in areas of regular shark visitation. This will minimize expectations and unwanted habituation from sharks and the possibility of unwanted interactions with divers.” (Unquote) The victim is expected to make a full recovery.Channel 5