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St. Pete shark attack survivor recounts painful moments
Hopes locals will learn from his story
7:17 PM, Aug 12, 2014
Paramedic recounts shark attack
Florida led the world in shark attacks in 2013 and the Sunshine State is on pace to do the same in 2014.
In hopes of bringing attention to this trend, a a local shark-bite survivor is reliving his painful moment.
"When it hit, it hit hard and hit fast," explained Rick LePrevost.
It was June, 1991.
He was swimming in Tampa Bay with his three young children at the time.
"I felt the pull, and I just instantly reacted," says LePrevost, who was 31 years old at the time.
"Then I kicked right back into his mouth which went right down my calf and ankle."
Few can ever kick a shark and live to tell about it.
That kick may have saved his life. He saw the shark briefly swim away, giving him just enough time to swim back to his boat, despite his injuries, before the shark returned.
LePrevost's story is rare: There's just a 1 in 11.5 million chance of being attacked by a shark, according to international conservation organization Oceana.
But many of those attacks happen right in Florida.
In 2013, there were 23 attacks in Florida, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
It's why LePrevost never goes on the water recreationally anymore. He says he'll go out on a boat, or go diving, but won't just go in the water recreationally.
"I see all the people in the water and I say great, but I will not go in the water," says the St. Pete paramedic.
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