Page last updated at 17:29 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Sharks kills surfer in Florida

Generic image of shark
Officials in Florida say the attack is the first fatal one in five years

A man has been killed by sharks while kite-surfing off Florida's southern Atlantic coast, local officials say.

A lifeguard found Stephen Schafer, 38, surrounded by sharks about 500m out from shore, Martin County Sheriff's Office was quoted as saying by AP.

The lifeguard "saw blood in the water and heard the male screaming that a shark had bit him", the sheriff's office told Reuters.

The lifeguard put Mr Schafer on his rescue board and paddled back to shore.

Mr Schafer was taken to hospital, where he later died.

While swimmers and surfers often receive minor bites in Florida, officials say fatal shark attacks are extremely rare.

The fatality, at Stuart Beach, about 90 miles (145km) north of Miami, is Florida's first shark bite death in five years.

Kite-surfers use a large kite to pull themselves across the water.

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