Vicious Shark Attack in Recife, Brazil Costs Tourist a Leg

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 Vicious Shark Attack in Recife, Brazil Costs Tourist a Leg


Shark!  I can hear the voice of the girl screaming out the word from the film, Jaws.  I’m sure many voices were doing the same in Recife, Brazil a few days ago.  Recife is located on the Eastern tip of Brazil.  A tourist visiting Piedade beach there was standing in waist deep water.  His name is Pablo de Melo.  But his life is forever changed after he was viciously attacked by a shark.  The 34-year-old suffered severe injuries to all of his limbs.  Doctors were forced to amputate his right leg.  The vicious wounds were too severe to save it.


The scene must have been a horror for everyone there.  Melo is likely only alive thanks to two heroes at the scene.  Two men who were also in the water nearby risked all when they beat off the vicious shark and dragged Melo from the water.  Lifeguards and firemen worked as a team carrying out first aid on the scene.  Medics airlifted the poor tourist to Restoration Hospital where he had emergency surgery.  The surgery lasted four hours.  Doctors had to divert arteries as well as veins to his injured arms in order to restore blood supply. Doctors moved Melo to intensive care, with life-support.  He is still listed in serious condition.

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Video taken at the beach shows Melo covered in blood, surrounded by blood, with chunks of flesh missing from his arms and legs.  The video also shows responders hastily trying tourniquets around all of his limbs.  One witness, Maria Lourenço, talked about what she saw.  “Someone started shouting shark, shark because they said they had seen a shark fin.  They tried to alert people in the water and particularly this man, who was near where the shark appeared.  But he didn’t have time to get out of the water before he was attacked many times.  I’ve been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks. It was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.”


Attacks at the beach are not unknown.  There are signs warning of shark attacks.  Experts believe that the shark was a bull shark or tiger shark.  Both are notorious for shallow water attacks.  The Pernambuco State coastline, which includes Piedade beach, has more than 100 signs warning of sharks.  The last fatality there was in 2013, when an 18-year-old woman had a leg torn apart by a shark.  So beware these signs if you ever see them at a beach!  It could save your life.  If you don’t, it could cost you an arm or a leg.

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