'That shouldn't be allowed:' Mom of shark bite victim says people were spearfishing nearby – WPEC
CBS12 reporter Erin MacPherson speaks with the mother of a little girl who was bitten by a shark. (WPEC)
Jessica Veatch was enjoying the day with her 3-year-old daughter, Violet, her 10-year-old, her 4-year-old daughter and her boyfriend, Richard Traychuk at Bathtub Reef Beach.
But laughter soon turned into screams at the popular family beach when Violet was bitten by a shark.
Rescue crews flew Violet to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Veatch received the good news on Monday that her daughter will be able to walk again.
“She was wiggling her toes,” she said.
However, Veatch added it will be a long road ahead. Violet has to stay at the hospital for five weeks and it doesn’t stop there.
“From here, she has to meet with a plastic surgeon to discuss what kind of surgeries are going to be needed in the future,” Veatch said.
Those who want to help with the family’s expenses can donate to their GoFundMe page.
While Veatch is relieved her daughter still has her leg, she’s frustrated it happened in the first place.
“There were people there that were spearfishing off of the reef and that should not be allowed,” she said. “They shouldn’t be taking their dead carcasses of animals into a swimming area where it’s a family zone.”
Ocean Rescue Chief Brad Beckett said you aren’t allowed to fish within 50 feet of people swimming and you can’t spear fish within 300 feet of people swimming.
If a lifeguard sees someone doing this, Beckett said, they first ask them to move.
If they don’t move, they call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.