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HERO FIRES GUN INTO HURRICANE IRMA, SAVES FAMILY FROM SHARKS.   Leave a comment

 

sharknado

The movie “Sharknado” brought to light the danger of airborne sharks.

By C. Michael Forsyth

KEY WEST – A Florida man who fearlessly fired his rifle into Hurricane Irma is being hailed as a hero, after shooting down a pair of great white sharks that were spiraling toward a mom and her toddlers.

Edward “Slim” Wilderghast, 61, a lifelong NRA member and avid hunter, hit one of the enormous sea creatures in the heart and nailed the second directly between the eyes, authorities confirm.

Neighbor Kelly Burenwick, whose mobile home had been reduced to splinters by the storm, recalls sheltering her 3-year-old twin girls with her body as the terrifying predators tumbled toward them through the air, mouths agape.

“The sharks were coming straight for us. I thought we were goners for sure,” said Ms. Burenwick, 29. “I told Rose and Abigail, ‘Close your eyes, girls.’ Then out of nowhere I heard gunshots. I looked up and there on his roof was our neighbor Mr. Wilderghast with his rifle. We owe him our lives.”

Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest storms in recorded history. Newspapers reported sightings of seagulls, squids, tuna, sharks and other creatures being swept up by the Category 5 hurricane as it raked across the Caribbean and bore down on the Florida peninsula.

A short time before Irma struck Florida, two men posted a Facebook event page encouraging Americans to shoot at the hurricane as a gesture of defiance, to “prove to Irma that we shoot first.” As many as 80,000 gun enthusiasts expressed interest in participating. That led the Sheriff’s Office to issue a stern warning: “DO NOT shoot weapons at Irma. You won’t make it turn around and it will have very dangerous side effects.”

 

Irma sharks

SIGHTINGS of sharks and other fish blown aloft by Irma were widespread.

 

“I didn’t hear about the police telling folks not to shoot,” Wilderghast explained. “If I had, I would never have loaded Bessie and gone up on my roof. I just thought it was the patriotic thing to do.”

Wilderghast, a former rodeo trick-shooter, made the incredible shots with his Remington 700 AAC at about 300 yards, having a matter of seconds to account for factors such as wind speed and air currents. Killing the second shark was more difficult, because his line of sight was blocked by an airborne doghouse.

“I had to wait for just the right moment and shoot so the bullet ricocheted off a wok that was flying around and hit the shark in the brain,” he said.

FEMA official Larry Utell calls the incident highly unusual.

“I’ve seen some pretty fancy shooting in my day, but that takes the cake,” he marveled. “There are probably fewer than six men in the world who could have made that shot.”

Remarkably, Wilderghast isn’t the only gunslinger who used good old-fashioned American firepower to save lives during the hurricane. A Texas man on vacation in the British Virgin Islands used his six-shooter to kill three electric eels that were flung ashore by the massive storm.

 

Hurricane shooting

DON’T try this at home: Shooting at a hurricane is highly risky, experts say.

 

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

If you enjoyed this whimsical yarn by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth, check out his collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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