Florida shark attack turns Minnesota family's tropical trip into a nightmare

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A Minnesota family saw their planned fun-filled tropical trip turn into a nightmare when their 9-year-old autistic child was bitten by a shark Sunday at a South Florida beach. 

“A shark tried to eat me at the ocean,” said young Jay Weiskopf of the four-foot-long shark. He left Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital on Tuesday after getting 120 stitches.

“A wave came and we kind of just body surfed, and when he stood up, he just said, ‘Ow,’ and there was just a chunk missing from his shoulder,” his mom Kristine Weiskopf told WSVN, the Fox affiliated TV station in Miami.

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The family was on spring break from Minnesota, and Jay had only been in the water for five minutes when he was attacked.

The mom rescued the boy from the surf and Miami Beach Fire Rescue met the family on the sand.

Florida is a haven for shark attacks, but not just in this country. The Sunshine State ranks as the number one site for shark attacks in the world, according to a Florida Museum file.

Almost all attacks are non-fatal year to year.

Kristine said she’s grateful her son is so tough and she’s happy that he is okay.

“Obviously, it’s a traumatic, terrible event, but we just thank God it’s over with,” said Ren Weiskopf, Jay’s dad.

The mom now wants to keep her boy close; she has slept next to him since the assault and she constantly wants to hug him.

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The family knows his recovery is just beginning.

“No beach, and no ocean,” Jay said.

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