Hero Uncle Wrestled Shark to Save Severed Arm of Nephew: Fact Check

Picture about Hero Uncle Wrestled 7 Foot Bull Shark to Save Nephew’s Severed Arm in 2001
Hero Uncle Wrestled 7 Foot Bull Shark to Save Nephew’s Severed Arm in 2001


Hero Uncle Wrestles 7 Foot Bull Shark to Save Nephew Boy’s Severed Arm.

Other Versions

In 2001 a man wrestled a 7-foot bull shark to retrieve the severed arm of his nephew. After saving the boy the man dived back in, seized the shark and wrestled it to shore where a ranger shot it. The arm was pried from its gullet, put on ice, rushed to the hospital and successfully sewed back on.

Fact Check:

The disturbing, yet heartwarming and inspiring story doing rounds online since many years states a Shark attack incident in 2001 when a Heroic Uncle wrestled with a 7-foot Bull Shark to retrieve the Severed arm of his nephew, thereby saving his life. Yes, the brave incident described below is a fact.

How Uncle Wrestled Shark to Save Nephew

On 6 July 2001 Jessie Arbogast, an 8-year-old boy from Ocean Springs, Missouri, was on a vacation with his family, aunt and Uncle Diana and Vance Flosenzier. At dusk time, when Jessie Arbogast was swimming in shallow water at Langdon Beach, Florida, he was attacked by a bull shark measuring about 7-foot, 200-pound. As the shark bit off Jessie’s right arm and part of his right thigh, his uncle, Vance Flosenzier plunged into the water, carried the boy to the shore and dived back to seize the shark, grabbing its tail.

He wrestled with the shark and dragged it to shore where it was shot three times in the head by Jared Klein, a park ranger. Jesse’s severed arm between the elbow and shoulder was pulled out from the shark’s jaws and was put in a plastic bag and encased in ice, before it was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. On the beach, Aunt Diana Flosenzier administered Jessie cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPM) to keep him alive before he was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola.

The eight year old boy was critically ill after the nightmarish shark attack. At the hospital, after 11 hours of surgery doctors had Jessie Arbogast’s arm sewn back on after it was bitten off by the shark. Jessie recovered slowly from a coma. But he suffered cognitive defects, unable to speak and struggles with severe physical impairments on a wheel chair. But thanks to his uncle and also the emergency team, the boy’s life had been saved. After one year of the incident, Mr. Flosenzier spoke to ABC NEWS‘ Good Morning America. He described publicly for the first time how he rescued his nephew on the fateful evening in 2001.

Related Rumor

The shark attack and rescue incident in 2001 made front-page news. Many people were touched by it and poured in many donations. Meanwhile, the below rumor message was doing rounds through email:

“His nephew got bit because the whole family went into the water to wrestle the fish to land,” wrote the e-mailer. ”There is big money on a shark that size. THIS IS THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. The press has suppressed the real truth, because they are afraid it will effect [sic] the contributions for Jessie and the uncle is so filled with guilt, he has tried to commit suicide once already. Now it all makes sense.”

The email message became so popular, the National Park Service had to investigate into the authenticity of the incident. They did not find any tackle, and no other evidence Jessie’s uncle Mr. Flosenzier was actually fishing for sharks. Officials concluded that – the uncle performed in a heroic way. At that time the Uncle Vance Flosenzier weighed more than 200 pounds and used to compete in marathons in Mobile. The brave man indeed acted in a heroic way!

Hoax Or Fact:



Uncle wrestles shark to save boy’s severed arm
Long After the Shark Died, the Rumor Lived

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Prashanth Damarla