Achilles News Today

July 26, 2008
Shark’s bite ’severed’ surfer’s Achilles tendon
Staff Writer

NEW SMYRNA BEACH — A Mims teenager became the second shark bite victim this week when he finished catching a wave on his surfboard Friday morning near the jetty.

Ethan Fulton, 17, stepped off his board shortly after 9 a.m. and a shark snapped on the top and bottom of his foot and cut into a tendon, said his father, Bruce Fulton.

“The Achilles tendon was severed completely, from what I understand,” the elder Fulton said.

Fulton’s friends initially were going to drive him to the local hospital but called for help while they were on their way. An EVAC ambulance transported the teenager to Bert Fish Medical Center, where doctors performed a 3 1/2-hour surgery.

Hospital spokesman Garry Mac said Ethan Fulton was conscious when he arrived. Doctors repaired the damaged tendon and an artery and treated several of the smaller bites on the bottom and top of his right foot, Mac said.

He was expected to stay in the hospital overnight Friday.

Ethan Fulton’s father said a friend used a surfboard leash as a tourniquet just below the young man’s knee.

“These are smart kids.”

Ethan Fulton, a graduate of Astronaut High School in Titusville, will turn 18 Monday. He was well aware of New Smyrna Beach’s reputation for sharks, his father said.

While his son was still in the last hour of his surgery Friday afternoon, Bruce Fulton said that, despite being “in a lot of pain,” he is in good spirits.

“He’s already said he’ll go back out,” Bruce Fulton said. “I’d prefer he not surf here, but it’s OK to surf again.”

Ethan Fulton’s wounds mark the 15th shark bite to occur in Volusia County this year.

On Wednesday, a 15-year-old from Edgewater was bitten by a shark on his left foot while he was surfing near the jetty in Ponce Inlet. County Beach Patrol officials said the bite was a “provoked attack” because the teen stepped on the creature when he fell off his surfboard.

The shark activity has Volusia on track to match one of its worst shark bite years ever — 2001, the so-called year of the shark, when 21 bites were reported. There were 17 bites in Volusia last year.

According to researchers, July, August and September are when most shark bites occur.

– Reporter Seth Robbins contributed to this report.

8 Responses to “Achilles News Today”

  1. If you’re going to have an ATR - a shark bite is a good story. Makes my dancing story seem really lame.

  2. There was another story here, a woman who had a piece of falling glass slice right through the Achilles. So there’s no end to the “vale of tears” as my Catholic Irish mother used to say. I wonder what they did back in Ireland in the 1930’s/40’s out on the farms of County Mayo for an ATR. Surely they had casting. When did operations begin for ATR’s?

  3. Friend of a friend did his at a party: he’d a few sherberts and went into the garden for a pee. His dad had left a hedge trimmer under the hedge overnight and in the dark this guy managed to step backwards into it and one of the sharp bits sliced through his achilles. Nice father/son teamwork!

  4. really dull that I missed a step…I need a more exciting tale! Sharks in Hampshire, UK are rare….but any creative ideas are welcomed!

  5. this is what i’ve been telling everyone—-i used to be in a professional roller derby league, my nickname was “the authority”, i was in a horrible accident in the rink, wheels and ball bearings everywhere. now i have to hang my skates up for the rest of the season

  6. That’s right- I was in that pile-up with you! Remember me- the bleached blond bomber? Everyone called me “Spike” ha-ha thanks for the chuckle :) See you back in the rink!

  7. Excellent! If we are going to be laid up there has to be a great way to have done it!

  8. I feel as if the purpose of the news is to provide us with information. But as I analyze the news, the stories that they are showing are not what they used to be. For example the news would consist mostly of war updates, or state what is going on. News today is more random stories that gets their station more viewers. Am I the only one who sees it that way?

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