Paddle Boarders Who Saved California Swimmer Attacked by Shark Say They Feared They Could Be Next
Good Samaritans Aimee Johns and Paul Bandy told Inside Edition they were out paddle boarding while celebrating their anniversary when they heard a man yelling for help. Though fearful they could also become victims, they sprang into action.
A California man severely injured after being bitten by a shark off Lovers Point Beach in Monterey was saved by quick-thinking bystanders who put themselves in harm's way to get the victim out of the water.
The swimmer suffered major injuries to his stomach, arm and leg in the attack that occurred Wednesday, according to Pacific Grove City Council member Joe Amelio.
Paddle boarders rushed to the man's aid, grabbing the shark bite victim and bringing him back to shore as he bled profusely. Once on shore, bystanders worked furiously to aid the injured man.
Locals said the victim was a member of a swim team and was 150 yards offshore when the shark clamped down on him. Good Samaritans Aimee Johns and Paul Bandy told Inside Edition they were out paddle boarding while celebrating their anniversary when they heard a man yelling for help.
"In my 15 years I have never seen anything like this," Johns told Inside Edition. "It was almost like someone took out a knife and cut his leg in half."
A surfer, who was also in the area, swam out with a board so they could all work to transport the man to shore.
"My legs are in the water and I am kicking as hard as I can because I want to get the victim to shore quickly, but then I'm thinking, with all the blood being released from the victim's wounds, it's basically, I'm swimming in a blood bath and I could be next," Johns said.
In the meantime, Bandy yelled for people on the beach to grab tourniquets. Fortunately, a physician and an emergency room nurse were there waiting to help. The couple said they and the amount of people standing by helping the man may have been what saved his life.
Shortly after, the man was rushed to the hospital.
Kevin Phillips, a bystander, appeared to show the victim being taken to shore by other surfers in a video posted to social media.
“True heroes! Hope the guy is ok. Fast reaction from EMTs and a nurse who just happened to be on the beach!” His caption read.
The Monterey and Seaside fire departments conducted a search for the shark using aerial drones, and the California State Parks closed down the beaches at Lovers Point and Sea Palm turnout through Saturday, according to CBS News.
The police said the shark had not yet been found.
Johns and Bandy, the hero couple behind the victim's rescue, told Inside Edition that they've spoken to the man's wife and she said he pulled through surgery with his leg intact. They plan to meet when he's recovered.
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