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Shark bite victim's condition upgraded

Associated Press
Published July 4, 2005

BOCA GRANDE - An Austrian tourist who was bitten on his right ankle as he stood in chest-deep water in the Gulf of Mexico was upgraded from fair to good condition Sunday at a southwest Florida hospital.

Armin Trojer, 19, of Baden, Austria, was recovering at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers after being bitten Friday while wading.

Witnesses said Trojer was able to limp from the attack before he was airlifted to the hospital. He underwent surgery Friday to repair ligaments, tendons and blood vessels on his right ankle.

Trojer's injury has since stabilized and he was upgraded to good condition Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Marianne Shervin said. She declined to release further details.

The attack came days after another tourist was killed and one seriously injured by sharks in the Florida Panhandle. On June 27, about 280 miles from Friday's attack, a 16-year-old Tennessee boy lost his leg. On June 25, about 350 miles away, a 14-year-old Louisiana girl was killed.

Despite the recent incidents, shark attacks in Florida are relatively rare, with 30 in 2003 and 12 in 2004 among the millions of people who hit the state's beaches.

[Last modified July 4, 2005, 04:41:58]

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