Jupiter dive instructor speaks about shark attack

Had to 'shake off' a reef shark that bit him


A Jupiter dive instructor is recovering after he was bitten in the leg by a shark. Daniel Webb was diving near the Jupiter inlet Sunday when the shark attacked.

"It was just incredible how fast it happened. It was incredible he actually bit me at all!" Webb said. "He was on it and I had to shake him off. He finally let go and I was very thankful."

Webb is very thankful and incredibly fortunate to still have his leg. On Sunday, Webb, a dive instructor with Scuba Works in Jupiter, was 70 feet under the water with a student near the Jupiter Inlet when they spotted a four-foot black tipped reef shark.

"(He was) just kind of darting all over the place ... real jumpy and weird. It was the weirdest thing and it circled up once and it was almost circling us again and it just came right in at me," he said. "He just bit right down on my leg and, of course, the first thought is, 'I got bit by a shark!' It didn't want to let go of my leg and there was a brief struggle for a few seconds for my leg, which fortunately, I won."

Daniel's co-workers on the boat and lifeguards were able to get him to shore where paramedics rushed him to Jupiter Medical Center. Plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Kapp was able stitch his right leg back together.

"We were fortunate that we were able to take the small strips of skin that were surviving after the injury and we were actually able to sew them together," explained Dr. Kapp.

Doctors say one of the most amazing things about Daniel's recovery is that he was able to keep his presence of mind while remembering his training after he was bit. Otherwise, they say they could have ended up having to treat him for something else, as well.

"It's something commonly called the bends," said Dr. Kapp, "and basically what happens is the gas in the blood vessels expand too fast and it causes all sorts of problems: neurologic problems, joint problems, organ problems in the liver or kidneys and it can be a very, very serious situation."

Dr. Kapp expects Webb to make a full recovery. Webb will have to wait two months; however, he is already eager to get back in the water.

"All the creatures down there, even the sharks, are still just amazing creatures to watch," he said.

Daniel expects to be released from Jupiter Medical Center Tuesday. He's made about 200 dives and said he's never had anything like this happen. He said he doesn't blame the shark for biting him. He said, after all, he was in the shark's territory.

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