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2 Men Injured After Separate Shark Attacks on Florida Coast
Two separate shark attacks took place this weekend about 110 miles apart on Florida's Atlantic coastline, leaving two men injured, according to ABC News.
One man was bitten on the arm, while the other was bitten on the thigh. Both are expected to make a full recovery.
In fact, one of the injured beach goers opted to go to a bar for several drinks rather than go to the hospital.
Competitive surfer, 23-year-old Frank O'Rourke was bit on the arm around 3:30 p.m. while surfing in the water near the pier off Jacksonville Beach in the coastal resort city in northeastern Florida. O'Rourke was 20 to 30 yards away from the pier when he felt a bit on his arm, he told First Coast News.
The bite punctured the skin near his elbow, drawing blood.
"I felt something jump out of the water and latch onto my arm by my elbow. It just grabbed onto me and thrashed in the water and swam away," he said. "I'm very lucky that I still have an arm," he said. "You can see the jawline, like where the jawline is of the shark [...] There's still blood on my surfboard."
O'Rourke said he has seen sharks near the pier before, but never that close and never moving aggressively.
"If it's your time, it's your time," he said, as ABC reported. "If the [sharks] want you, they want you. You're more likely to get struck by lightning than killed by a shark. I'm going to buy a lottery ticket."
Rather than go to the hospital to seek treatment, O'Rourke had his arm bandaged and went looking for free drinks.
"He immediately went to a bar 'cause he was like, 'I got bit by a shark,' and people were like, 'I'll buy you drinks.' So he went and hung out at the pier," said RJ Berger, O'Rourke's friend who witnessed the attack, to News 4 Jax. Berger guessed it was a 3- to 4-foot spinner or blacktip shark.
O'Rourke shared a photo of his bite on his Instagram account.
An hour later and 110-miles south of Jacksonville, 49-year-old William Angell was bitten on the right thigh while boogie boarding at New Smyrna Beach.
"Victim received lacerations to the right thigh from one strike. The shark was not seen," Volusia County officials said in a release, as ABC News reported. "The victim was treated on scene and was not transported by ambulance."
Angell, a Phoenix native on vacation in Florida, drove himself to Bert Fish Medical Center in nearby Edgewater for further treatment, Captain Andrew Ethridge of Volusia County Beach Safety told KNXV.
Florida has been home to 8 of the 24 verified shark attacks in the U.S. this year. The last bite took place two weeks ago in Amelia Island, Florida just 50 miles north of Jacksonville when a 16-year-old girl was bitten on the heel and ankle area of her foot, as People reported.
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By Jake Johnson
As a growing number of states move to pass laws that would criminalize pipeline protests and hit demonstrators with years in prison, an audio recording obtained by The Intercept showed a representative of a powerful oil and gas lobbying group bragging about the industry's success in crafting anti-protest legislation behind closed doors.
Speaking during a conference in Washington, DC in June, Derrick Morgan, senior vice president for federal and regulatory affairs at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), touted "model legislation" that states across the nation have passed in recent months.
AFPM represents a number of major fossil fuel giants, including Chevron, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
"We've seen a lot of success at the state level, particularly starting with Oklahoma in 2017," said Morgan, citing Dakota Access Pipeline protests as the motivation behind the aggressive lobbying effort. "We're up to nine states that have passed laws that are substantially close to the model policy that you have in your packet."
Big Oil is now using its political power to try and criminalize protests of oil & gas infrastructure.— Friends of the Earth (@foe_us) August 19, 2019
"This legislation has potential to punish public participation and mischaracterize advocacy protected by the First Amendment."https://t.co/bmiHjONEhy
The audio recording comes just months after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law legislation that would punish anti-pipeline demonstrators with up to 10 years in prison, a move environmentalists condemned as a flagrant attack on free expression.
"Big Oil is hijacking our legislative system," Dallas Goldtooth of the Indigenous Environmental Network said after the Texas Senate passed the bill in May.
As The Intercept's Lee Fang reported Monday, the model legislation Morgan cited in his remarks "has been introduced in various forms in 22 states and passed in ... Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota."
"The AFPM lobbyist also boasted that the template legislation has enjoyed bipartisan support," according to Fang. "In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the version of the bill there, which is being challenged by the Center for Constitutional Rights. Even in Illinois, Morgan noted, 'We almost got that across the finish line in a very Democratic-dominated legislature.' The bill did not pass as it got pushed aside over time constraints at the end of the legislative session."
Many of the state bills restricting the right to protest have been "drafted by companies and passed through groups like ALEC, the secretive group of corporate lobbyists trying to rewrite state laws to benefit corporations over people." @greenpeaceusa https://t.co/ZxpTjWdrwT— Stand Up To ALEC (@StandUpToALEC) May 6, 2019
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.
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