Friends of shark attack victim honored for their help

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – The city of Anna Maria honored the people Wednesday night who helped save their friend.

Three weeks ago, 21-year-old C.J. Wickersham was spearfishing off the Anna Maria Island coast when a 10-foot-long bull shark bit him on the leg. Two of his friends jumped to the rescue, pulling him from the water while others called for help and rushed him to shore.

C.J. survived the attack, and Wednesday night, Anna Maria officials honored his friends for their bravery with a plaque bearing their names. That plaque will hang in the city halls of Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria.

City officials say it’s an honor that was truly deserved.

“They’re locals, and they did the right things, the proper things, the best things to save C.J.’s life. And the city – all the cities, and I speak for all the mayors – are very proud to honor such great young kids,” said Anna Maria mayor Michael Selby.

“It’s pretty cool. I mean a great bunch of friends; known them for a long time. They saved my life, they deserve it…a pretty cool thing,” said Wickersham.

All six of C.J.’s friends received a certificate and a medal that says “C.J.’s Hero.”
Copyright 2011 Southern Broadcast Corp of Sarasota All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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