ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. - The 911 call was urgent, but not panicked.
911 - 911. What's the address of the emergency?
Girl - We're on the boat right now. Our friend just got bit by a shark.
It was Saturday and 22-year-old Charles "CJ" Whickersham had just been bitten by a shark.
Whickersham was spearfishing with friends when it happened. Oceanna Beard says he yelled out, "and then all of a sudden he just started screaming. And a big swell went away. And he just started screaming."
Oceanna and Katie Mattas, who were both there at the time, say the group of friends on the boat immediately responded. Katie said, CJ's best friend, Connor Bystrom, took action right away. "Without even thinking, he jumped right in, swam over to CJ. CJ just grabbed onto him. He was scared to death. They swam back to the boat together and the boys pulled him on to the boat."
Oceanna says CJ's wound was terrible, "We all thought that he might die on the way in, because when the boys lifted him into the boat it was just a huge gaping wound. It flapped open and blood was just spraying everywhere."
But the group remained calm and managed to get CJ onto shore where he was airlifted to the hospital.
CJ underwent his second surgery Monday, and is expected to recover, but that is going to be a long road to travel.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
One person will win a three-year lease on a 2013 Honda Civic Lx Sedan automatic.
Click to see the latest mugshots, plus this week's wanted fugitives.
This feature packed upgrade brings you faster performance, easier navigation, and stunning improvements to photos, video and readability.
Latest News Stories