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Shark bite, drowning on Sunday at Cocoa Beach

7:30 AM, Sep 17, 2012   |    comments
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Cocoa Beach, FL (WMKG) -  Police said one man was bitten by a shark and another man drowned in the same area of the beach Sunday afternoon.

Police said both incidents happened around 900 North Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach.

Police said the first man, who they are not identifying, was bitten by a shark around 3 p.m. Sunday, but did not suffer any serious injuries.

A few hours later, William J. Clifford, 66, of Tempe, Arizona was swimming with a friend in the ocean near Ocean Landings Resort when the surf became too rough.

Police said Clifford was pulled further out by the current.

Cocoa Beach Fire Rescue brought Clifford closer to shore where they were further assisted by Cocoa Beach Police and Beach Rangers to bring him to the sand, officials said.

Local 6 spoke with a bystander who helped rescuers pull Clifford to the beach.

"I looked in the face of the wave and I saw his back so I just swam to him tried to flip them over and dragged him in," said Scott Steward.

Clifford was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital, but despite rescue efforts, he died a short time later. Next of kin was present on-scene and at the hospital.

Brevard County Ocean Rescue officials said this weekend was marred by more than 20 rescues. Lifeguards flew red flags for much of the weekend, and expect dangerous swimming conditions to continue through the beginning of the week.

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