West Palm Beach man loses fingers to alligator

WEST PALM BEACH

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Man loses fingers, gator loses dog

A West Palm Beach man who lost two fingers when an alligator bit his hand is recovering in a hospital. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says 66-year-old David Grounds was attacked Saturday morning while trying to save his dog. Grounds had let his dog out unleashed in his waterfront back yard when he saw the gator grab his dog. The alligator then bit Grounds on the hand. A trapper removed the 7-footer, which will be euthanized. The dog was not seriously injured. According to wildlife officials, reports of alligators biting humans are very rare. In the past 60 years, there have been 315 unprovoked bites in Florida; 23 of those resulted in a human fatality.

STUART

Missing boaters found far upcoast

Four boaters from Miami who were missing for days have been found after authorities say their vessel drifted hundreds of miles off course. The Coast Guard said Stanley Shawler, the 32-year-old owner and operator of the sailboat, and three other unidentified passengers were found in stable condition Saturday morning off the coast of St. Lucie County. Authorities say the men left Miami on Thursday on the 30-foot sailing vessel Pisces to meet friends in Key Largo. When they didn't arrive, a family member reported the men missing the next day. A Coast Guard aircraft spotted the boat Saturday and alerted a boat crew in Fort Pierce.

STEINHATCHEE

Snorkeler killed by passing pontoon

Authorities in North Florida are investigating the death of a snorkeler who was hit by a boat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says 60-year-old Charles David Sheppard of Cross City was hit by a pontoon boat Friday while snorkeling off the coast of Steinhatchee in Taylor County. Sheppard was looking for scallops when a 21-foot pontoon boat with 12 people aboard struck him in the water. Authorities say the people on the pontoon boat pulled him inside their vessel, performed first aid and took him to shore. Emergency medical workers arrived and pronounced him dead at the scene. No charges have been filed.

GREAT NECK, N.Y.

Man saved, thanks to teen firefighter

A Long Island teen coming home from a Florida vacation squeezed in a bit of lifesaving while waiting for his flight. Great Neck firefighter Joseph Oginski knew just what to do when an elderly man stopped breathing July 4 at an airport in Fort Myers. The 17-year-old said the man was turning blue with no pulse when Oginski reached him. The teen then began performing CPR. Airport officials arrived shortly after with a defibrillator. They used it on the man, which restarted his pulse.

MIAMI

Woman evicted after fatal shooting

A woman has been evicted from her Miami home where two people were killed during a birthday party shooting. Miami-Dade Public Housing records show that 49-year-old Juliette McClain had until midnight Friday to leave the duplex in the run-down Overtown neighborhood. A letter from the agency says "criminal activity" and "drug and alcohol abuse" during the July 5 party violated the lease. Jeffrey Gorley, the agency's crime reduction coordinator, says there is a zero-tolerance policy in public housing. About 200 people attended the party held for McClain's son. Police said three men dressed in black opened fire, then fled. Twelve people were injured. Two of those did not survive.

West Palm Beach man loses fingers to alligator 07/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, July 19, 2009 11:23pm]

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