A spearfisherman who says he was bitten by a bull shark in Florida had a stroke of luck when nurses on a nearby fishing charter came to his aid.
The man was diving off Key Biscayne when he was bitten on the left forearm and hand, leaving him “mangled” and with a shredded wetsuit, according to local media.
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Fortunately a nearby fishing charter boat had been hired by a group of nurses holidaying from Texas, who were able to administer first aid to the man.
“He was wearing a wetsuit but he had bite marks in about three different places,” Christine Haines, a paediatric nurse at San Antonio’s Stone Oak Methodist Hospital, told the US ABC network.
“Our first instinct of course was to stop the bleeding because we wouldn’t want him to lose consciousness from loss of blood. He was already getting dizzy.”
Footage taken from onboard the fishing boat shows the diver bleeding heavily and collapsing on the floor of the fishing boat after being transferred from the smaller dive boat.
‘Bloody from head to foot’
The Hot Shot Charters boat was about a mile off the coast of Key Biscayne when the incident occurred, according to local television station WPGL, which reported the attack was the seventh in Florida in nine days.
Kayle Evans, the first mate on the fishing boat, helped pull the injured man on board and described his arm as “mangled, just messed up”.
“As I got closer to the boat, the guy stood up and he was just bloody from head to foot,” he told WPGL.
“He definitely said shark. He said shark a couple of times. Just by looking at the bites you could tell.
“I was asking the nurses what to do and they told me not to do too much. I was just trying to keep him awake and asking if he wanted water.”
Charter boat captain Sig Ozols called emergency services and took the man to shore, where paramedics were waiting.
“We were there for a reason and we made it happen and I hope he’s OK,” he told WPGL.
The man was treated at Jackson Memorial Hospital.