Capsize, then a shark

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OCT. 5 — A Florida man says he fought off a shark while he and four friends spent 14 hours in the Atlantic after their 11-foot boat capsized in heavy seas 15 miles offshore.

The men set off last Saturday morning from Mayport, Fla., for a day of fishing, news reports say. At about 11 a.m. two large waves rolled over the stern of the boat which apparently caused it to capsize. All of the men were thrown into the water.

One man swam back to the boat to retrieve the life vests to pass out to his friends, a news report says. Then one man stayed with the boat and the other four decided to attempt to swim for shore. They had a difficult time swimming, however, since the current was reportedly pulling back out to sea.

As the sun set the four anglers became separated, news reports say. One man says he punched a shark in the nose as it brushed against his stomach and legs as it swam below him.

Coast Guard authorities rescued all but one of the men after they spent about 14 hours in the water, reports say. The fifth man was rescued after being in the water for about 20 hours. They were all taken to area hospitals for treatment.

— Jason Fell