July 3, 2020 | News | No Comments
A spear fisherman who was attacked by a shark off the coast of Florida was rescued by a passing charter yacht – which happened to be full of nurses.
Mario Avila, 37, was bitten in the left arm by what he believes is a bull shark near Key Biscayne on Saturday morning.
“I was diving and immediately, the shark came and attacked me. I never saw it, it came by surprise and attacked me,” he said.
“It came to try and figure out what I was. It came directly and attacked my arm. I automatically pushed it away with my other arm and that’s when he tore up all my fingers and my chest.”
Those diving with Mr Avila began waving for help.
He said the shark was about 20 feet long.
“I’ve been fishing underwater for 20 years, and all my life, I’ve never seen one that big,” he told CBS News Miami.
Kayle Evans, an employee of Hot Shot Charters, said their boat was passing and rescued the fisherman.
He said the bite was so severe that the Mr Avila’s arm was “mangled” and he was “just blood from arm to foot.”
The nurses immediately applied a tourniquet to the man’s arm while Mr Evans rinsed him off with a hose.
Sig Ozols, the yacht captain, said he was glad they were there to assist.
“I have never seen this in 30 years of being in the business,” he said. “I don’t want to see it again to be honest with you.”
The crew then sailed with the injured diver the 20 minutes to Bill Baggs State Park, where the diver was met by paramedics and taken to hospital.
“We were there for a reason, and we made it happen,” said Mr Ozols. “And I hope he’s OK.”
Mr Avila was released from hospital on Tuesday.
“Scuba diving, I don’t think I’ll ever do again,” he said. “But I’ll keep fishing with a rod.”
Two other people were attacked by sharks in Florida on Saturday, at New Smyrna Beach near Dayton Beach.
A 20-year-old woman was bitten in the hand while she was surfing, and a 21-year-old man was bitten in the right foot.
On Sunday a third man, a tourist from Tennessee, was standing knee-deep in the water at the same beach when he was bitten on the foot.
So far this year, nine people have been victims of shark attacks at New Smyrna Beach.
The International Shark Attack File named the beach the international shark attack capital. It’s estimated that anyone who has swum there has been within 10 feet of a shark.