Two paddleboarders and a surfer came to the rescue of a swimmer at a Central Coast beach in California after hearing his panicked cries for help while he was attacked by a great white shark.
The swimmer later remarked in a statement that he was incredibly happy that people rushed to his aid.
“He shouted for help. “You could see from the sound and the emotion in his voice that something was definitely wrong, and he hit the water,” Paul Bandy told KSBW-TV in Monterey.
Bandy, a police officer, was driving with his wife, who is a nurse, when they heard the swimmer’s screams Wednesday at the popular Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, just south of Monterey. They were in town on holiday to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
The swimmer, Steven Bruemmer (62), a member of a swimming club who regularly uses the beach, had bites on his leg and torso.
Bandy and others pulled him ashore and applied first aid before rushing him to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas.
“The shark bite was unfortunate. But after that I … had so much luck, “Bruemmer said in a statement to KION-TV in Monterey on Thursday.
“The day was so calm and warm, and the beach was packed. There were no waves, and there was no hood. So that people could hear me shouting ‘Help’ at a great distance, “he added.
Bandy and his wife “knew what to do” when they came to his aid, Bruemmer said. A surfer who offers a safety class on shore also jumped into the water with his plank and brought an extra one to help bring in Bruemmer.
“Several bystanders, including a doctor and a nurse who were on the beach for the day, helped put tourniquets on me and get me to the ambulance,” he said.
“I remember … I was lying in the ambulance, and I thought: ‘My lungs are fine. I can breathe. ‘ “It seemed really happy that the shark found me in a place that seemed viable,” Bruemmer added.
Despite major injuries to his leg and abdomen, he is expected to recover. Doctors operated on him for two hours. DNA tests have confirmed that he was attacked by a great white shark, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Doctors acknowledged the Good Samaritans had saved his life. Dr. Nicholas Rottler told KION that Bruemmer was happy that no bones were broken, no organs were damaged and no large veins were cut off. There is a clear U-ring shark bite mark around his pelvis, Rottler told KION.