VILANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A man is celebrating after catching an 8-foot, 250-pound shark off the North Fla. coast.
The St. Augustine Record reports that Matt Sechrist, a 19-year-old student from Clay County who was born without legs, reeled in the lemon shark while sitting in his wheelchair on Vilano Beach.
“That’s a memory that I’ll be able to keep forever,” he said. “Just one more thing on the resume of things I’ve done.”
Sechrist has already gone skydiving and waterskiing. Ed Parrish, a family friend, said the student-athlete should add shark fishing to the list.
On Tuesday, Parrish kayaked a few hundred feet off the beach and dropped bait. Sechrist then put the brakes on his wheelchair and strapped on a fighting harness. Friends and family members held the chair in place while Sechrist struggled to catch the shark.
After an hour, the shark tired and Sechrist helped reel it in. The group took photos, revived the shark and released it into the ocean.
Sechrist starts college this week to pursue a major in human performance, so he can train other wheelchair-bound athletes.
“I don’t want people to look at me and my disability and see what I can’t do,” he said. “I’d rather them see me for what I can do.”
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