Keys barracuda attack victim works to expand and improve water rescue

KEY WEST, Fla. - A Key West woman seriously injured when a barracuda knocked her from her kayak is working to improve shallow-water rescues.

Karri Larson was kayaking with her boyfriend near Howe Key in October when a barracuda jumped from the water and slammed into her side, tearing open a large wound and puncturing a lung.

Coast Guard crews were unsure if their small response boats could reach them in the shallow water. Other boaters who heard radio calls about Larson's injuries reached her first.

Larson is now working to expand the Coast Guard's civilian arm, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, to improve the response time for similar rescues. She tells the Key West Citizen that she's looking for owners of shallow-water boats to join and make their vessels available for shallow-water rescues.

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