FATAL – 3 February 2010 – Stuart Beach, Florida, United States – kiteboarder attacked
Stephen Schafer, 38, died after being attacked by several sharks while kiteboarding about 500 metres off Stuart Beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida in the US. The incident happened on Wednesday 3 February 2010.
He had 8 to 10 inch bite wounds on his right thigh and numerous teeth marks on his right and left buttocks. He also had bruising on the inside of his right arm and wounds on his hand that appeared to indicate he had tried to fight off the sharks.
A lifeguard on the beach witnessed the attack through binoculars from the beach and paddled out on a longboard to rescue Schafer.
The Associated Press reports:
Lifeguard Daniel Lund, 47, said he first spotted Schafer from his tower on the beach Wednesday afternoon and he could tell the kiteboarder was in trouble. He said Schafer was lying on his large kite.
Lund grabbed his long surfboard and paddled 20 minutes through 4- to 6-feet-high waves, to reach Schafer.
“I get to him, I’m probably within 20 yards or so from him, and there’s just a lot of blood in the water,” Lund said.
He could see several sharks circling nearby. He pulled the injured Schafer onto his board and began paddling back. Lund declined to describe Schafer’s injuries, but said he was conscious and speaking when they got to the beach and paramedics began treating him.
Schafer was taken to Martin Memorial North Medical Center where he succumbed to his wounds and died.
Judging by the size of the bite wounds experts believe an 8-9 foot long tiger or bull shark was responsible for the attack. They also said that because the bite marks were similarly sized it indicated that a single shark attacked Schafer and added that it was common for other sharks to be drawn to blood and activity but not necessarily attack, which would corroborate Lund’s eye witness account of seeing several sharks circling him.