(CNN) — A 10-year-old boy had part of his leg amputated after he was bitten by a shark while snorkeling in the Florida Keys over the weekend, his family said.

Authorities received a call to assist Jameson Reeder Jr. at Looe Key Reef around 4:30 pm, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Jameson, who was vacationing with his parents and brother, “took a crushing blow below the knee” from what the family believes was a bull shark when he was snorkeling on a shallow reef, his uncle Joshua Reeder said in an email. a Facebook post.

Jameson held on to a float as his family pulled him onto a boat. The family then applied a tourniquet over the bite to stop the bleeding, the uncle wrote.

The family signaled to a nearby boat that was faster, and which happened to have a nurse on board, the post said. The boat brought Jameson to shore, where paramedics were waiting for him. Then a helicopter took him to a children’s hospital in Miami.

“They had to amputate him from just below the knee to save his life as he was inoperable from the damage the shark had done,” the uncle’s post reads.

The bite came as the number of unprovoked shark attacks around the world appears to be leveling off after an upward trend over the past three decades.

Last year, 73 unprovoked shark attacks were confirmed worldwide. That’s in line with the average figure from 2016 to 2020, where the number stood at 72, according to a January report from the International Shark Attack File from the Florida Museum of Natural History.

Greenland sharks live up to 400 years 1:17As usual, the majority of unprovoked attacks in 2021 (47) were in the United States. Florida was the state with the most attacks (28), in line with the five-year average of 25, according to the museum.

Many attacks are “cases of mistaken identity,” occurring in poor visibility conditions on the water, according to the museum. Many of the bites occur when humans swim near large schools of prey fish, Robert Hueter, chief scientist at the shark data organization OCEARCH, told CNN earlier this year.

“People are bitten but rarely eaten, and that tells us we’re not on the menu for sharks,” Christopher Lowe, director of the California State University Long Beach Shark Laboratory, told CNN earlier this year. .

Researchers are studying whether certain factors could be driving the rise in shark attacks in another part of the United States — the Northeast — such as rising sea temperatures, possibly pushing the fish that sharks eat further north. , and conservation efforts that increase the numbers of those bait fish.

However, Florida is often the first state for shark attacks, and the majority of Florida attacks occur on the state’s Atlantic coast. Hueter attributes this to the proximity of the Gulf Stream to the coast, the significant waves, the congestion of surfers and swimmers, and the large schools of sharks in the area.

CNN’s Nouran Salahieh contributed to this report.

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