INJURED – 16 August 2011 – Mosquito Bay, Vieques island, Peurto Rico – swimmer attacked
Lydia Strunk, 27, suffered severe lacerations to her lower leg after being bitten by a shark while swimming at night in the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay, Vieques island, Peurto Rico.
According to the doctor at Rio Piedras Medical Center, where she was being treated, the wound was about 25 cm long – from below her knee to her ankle.
The shark was estimated at 1.8 metres (6 foot).
He said it appeared if the shark was “trying to tear away”.
“She has an imprint of all the shark’s teeth,” he is quoted as saying.
According to the report: Strunk was one of 16 people kayaking late Tuesday (16 August 2011) in the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay in Vieques, a tiny island just east of Puerto Rico. She jumped into the water with four other people when something hit the leg of the person next to her. Seconds later she was bitten.
The doctor is quoted as saying: “The shark’s mouth basically clamped over her calf.”
Strunk’s mother at the hospital to be with her daughter, said: “Right now we are taking one day at a time to help her recover … She has a great story to tell … that’s her story to tell.”
Strunk is expected to make a full recovery but will likely have some nerve damage and limited movement in her right foot. Doctors repaired four tendons that are used for flexing the foot.
The bay is renowned for its glowing bioluminescent waters and attracts many visitors. Swimming is banned in the bay to protect the ecosystem, although kayak operators let people swim despite the regulations, according to the press report.
The bay is also known to serve as a nursery for several species of sharks, including tiger, nurse, reef and hammerhead.
St John Beach Guide