While Western Australia is in the middle of a shark frenzy, a beachgoer in Brazil was the victim of a gruesome shark attack. According to reports, Pablo de Melo, a 34-year-old, was badly mauled on both his arms and legs. One of his legs has been amputated.
De Melo, a visiting tourist who was there with his family, was in waist-deep water at Piedade beach in Recife, Brazil when the attack happened. After two men intervened and chased the shark away, they dragged they dragged him from the water where lifeguards began first aid. Paramedics arrived soon afterwards and he was airlifted to Restoration Hospital for emergency surgery. The procedure took four hours.
“They diverted arteries and veins … to the injured areas in his upper and lower arms and restored blood supply,” said a hospital spokesperson. “He has been transferred to intensive care on life-support and remains in a serious condition.”
“Someone started shouting shark, shark because they said they had seen a shark fin,” said Maria Lourenço, who was present at the time of the attack. “They tried to alert people in the water and particularly this man, who was near where the shark appeared, but he didn’t have time to get out of the water before he was attacked many times. I’ve been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks. It was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.”
Officials believe the shark was either a bull shark or a tiger shark. “The victim was conscious when he was rescued,” lifeguard Wellington Miranda told Diario de Pernambuco. “He was in a state of shock, in a lot of pain and had suffered severe lacerations to his arms and deep wounds to his legs. We managed to stem the bleeding and stabilize his vital signs before flying by helicopter him to hospital.”
It has been five years since the last shark-related fatality occurred in the vicinity. In 2013, an 18-year-old tourist named Bruna Gobbi was attacked in the shallows before being dragged to deeper water.