Robert L. Atkinson helped to rescue a girl from an attacking shark, Miramar Beach, Florida, June 25, 2005. A 14-year-old girl was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico when a large shark attacked her, inflicting severe wounds. A man who was on his surfboard in the vicinity paddled to her and placed her on the board, the shark remaining nearby. Atkinson, 40, airline pilot, was on the beach and witnessed the attack. He entered the water with a small boogie board and swam out, as did another man, who took an inflatable raft. Despite the shark menacing them, bumping into Atkinson’s legs, the men placed the girl aboard the raft, then started to shore with it. Others from the beach helped remove her from the water. The girl could not be revived and died at the scene of her injuries.
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