Before American media was slammed with devastating images and breaking news of 9/11, a different sort of media frenzy took over. It all started on the beach.
Between July and September 2001, an alarming number of shark attacks across the country became the main stories behind every news broadcast. The coverage of these attacks felt obsessive, so much so that it was deemed the “Summer of the Shark.” And while the actual number of shark attacks by year’s end was lower than the previous year, these vicious shark attacks quickly became the third largest news stories of the summer.
The inciting incident was a bull shark attack along the shore of Langdon Beach, Florida.
It was Fourth of July weekend and eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast was enjoying his day at the beach with his family.
While preparing for his last swim of the day, Arbogast was greeted by an unwelcome guest in the water -- a seven-foot-long, 200-pound bull shark.
Arbogast remained frozen in fear as the shark approached and gripped his right arm in his mouth and bit it off all the way up to the shoulder.