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U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Shark Bite Victim Off Bimini

shearwater
Image and video courtesy USCG

Published Feb 22, 2022 5:20 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew rescued a man who was bitten by a shark while fishing near Bimini in the Bahamas.

The fishing boat Shear Water contacted Coast Guard Sector Miami at about 1250 hours and reported that a 51-year-old crewmember had been bitten by a shark. The crew had already put a tourniquet on the man’s arm to prevent further blood loss.

Sector Miami and Coast Guard District Seven watchstanders made the decision to launch an Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an Air Station Miami HC-144 airplane crew to the scene. When the helicopter crew arrived, they hoisted the man and transferred him to emergency medical technicians at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He was reportedly in stable condition. 

“This was the best possible outcome to a truly terrifying situation,” said Sean Connett, command duty officer at Coast Guard District Seven. “This individual was fortunate a fellow crew member was able to render aid prior to the Coast Guard's arrival which, allowed for a quick extraction from the vessel.”

Shark bites are relatively rare: in 2020, there were just 57 confirmed cases of unprovoked shark bite attacks worldwide, according to the tally maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History. 33 of these cases occurred in U.S. waters, including 16 in Florida.