A fisherman has been bitten by a shark in the Bahamas.
George Keywood was wading in the waters off Great Exuma on March 2 when he landed a fish which piqued the interest of several sharks in the area.
The 58-year-old fisherman had just released his catch when a lemon shark bit his calf and hand.
“It was surreal. I’d released the fish I’d just caught and was washing some slime off my hand in the water. The next thing I know there’s this thing banging against my leg. Then it went for my hand. It was a bit of a blur – there was a lot of blood,” he told Kent Live.
While the wound to his left calf was superficial, the shark bite to his hand caused nerve damage.
Although he was in a lot of pain, he was able to make it back to the boat and after a 20-minute ride, he made it to a local hospital.
Unfortunately, they were unable to provide the specialized treatment needed for the nerve damage on his left hand. He then flew to Nassau to see a specialist.
Mr. Keywood will need continued treatment for the nerve damage, and will be consulting a plastic surgeon at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.
However, things could have been worse. He said the Nassau specialist “told me he dealt with about two shark attacks a year – the last lemon shark one took someone’s forearm off.”
Lemon sharks have been known to feed in packs and are drawn to blood and the release of bodily fluids from prey.
The sharks’ method of attack involves a charge at speed with several forward bites to grasp the prey. Once the prey has been gripped, the sharks will then shake their heads from side to side to tear off bite-sized food chunks
Lemon sharks are normally not considered a threat to humans but, like all sharks, they should be watched and their boundaries respected.
“They had been hanging around earlier in the week but didn’t seem like a threat, but I’ve seen things since (the bite) which would have made me think twice about getting so close to them,” Keywood said.
There have been a total of 15 shark attack bites in 2017, 1 of which was fatal; 4 were reported in the US, all which occurred in Florida. Five have been reported in Australia, one with no injury.