A man has lost his leg to a shark in Pernambuco, Brazil.
Pablo Diego Inacio de Melo went swimming off Piedade Beach in the northeast coast of Brazil April 15 when he was attacked by a shark.
According to friends, the 34-year-old had been warned the area was known for sharks, especially during the rainy season.
“It was the second time he went to the beach here; the people who were with him knew the situation . . . he was aware of the risk, that he should not go too deep, because the tide was full,” a friend of the victim, Leandro do Nascimento, told Globo, a Brazilian television network.
Rainy weather tends to murk the clarity of water, which can prevent sharks from clearly identifying prey. In addition, rain can also wash dead animals into rivers that empty into the ocean. Sharks, particularly bull sharks, have been known to scavenge these waters looking for food.
Around 2:30 p.m. someone spotted the shark’s fin and began warning swimmers. Melo did not have time to react before the tiger shark struck.
“He had waist-deep water and was probably bitten first in the leg, tried to defend himself and then was bitten in the arms,” according to Captain Arthur Leone, operations officer of the Maritime Grouping.
Two friends came to Melo’s aid and assisted him out of the water.
Firefighters arrived on scene (GRAPHIC VIDEO) and administered first aid and the victim was transported to Restoration Hospital where his right leg was amputated.
Melo also had extensive damage to his right arm and required revascularization to restore blood flow. Reports indicate he also sustained injures to left arm
There has been one other confirmed bite this year in Brazil.
On January 12, Ricardo Ferrari Bulhoes was visiting the islands of Fernando de Noronha located around 220 miles off the Brazilian coast. He was surfing at Conceicao Beach in the late afternoon when he fell into the water and felt something pulling and generating pressure on his left arm.
The 20-year-old said it didn’t hurt, but he was bleeding, and was able to make it back to shore. A local tour guide saw his wound and took him to Hospital Sao Lucas for treatment.
Bulhoes received 15 stitches to close several lacerations on his forearm. Local shark expert Leo Veras said he believes the wound was defensive as the boy fell onto the shark, and the bite was minor.
Update 5/9/18 Mr Diego’s right hand was badly injured and had to be amputated.
One other bite was reported, but the species involved does not appear to be a shark.
There have been a total of 18 shark attack bites* in 2018, 0 of which were fatal**; 1 was reported in the US, with 0 occurring in Florida and 1 in Hawaii. Nine have been reported in Australia, none of which was fatal. Two unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Four with no injury **One possible scavenge