A tourist swimming in waist-deep water off a beach in the eastern tip of Brazil had his arms and legs ripped to shreds in a shark attack that is getting international coverage due to graphic video posted on social media.
The attack happened off Piedade beach in Recife, Brazil, and cell phone video posted on Facebook shows Pablo Melo lying in shock on the beach, while passersby tend to deep cuts to both arms and legs.
Melo, 34, was rushed to a hospital and underwent four hours of surgery, resulting in his right leg being amputated.
Emergency crews were called to the popular tourist beach at 2:40 p.m. Sunday, media outlets report.
A witness, snack vendor Maria Lourenço said that people on the beach seemed to notice the shark before swimmers and they tried to warn tourists splashing in the surf.
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, she said It was horrible to see.
Their are signs in the area clearly warning of sharks roaming the waters.
Fire department Major Aldo Silva said that Melo was not in deep water when he was attacked.
Mr Melo was swimming near the surf line, which would have been a least waist deep if he stood up, when he was bitten several times, Silva said.
He was probably bitten first on his legs then when he tried to defend himself, the shark reacted to his frantic movements and latched onto his arms.
Melo survived only because two men risked attack to chase the shark away. The two pulled Melo out of the water, and video shows he was conscious, but in shock.
At one point, someone is seen trying to tie a tourniquet around his leg, while others hold cloth to his open wounds.
A crowd of others circles the group, many filming on their cell phones.
Melo was a tourist from the Rio Grande de norte community in Brazil and he was vacationing with his family.
It's believed he was attacked by a bull shark or tiger shark.
The attack was the first of its kind on the area in three years, media outlets reported. However, those native to the area were not surprised.
There are gazzilion signs saying if you get into the water a shark will likely bite and kill you, said a Facebook post by Marcelo De Barros who says he's a native of Recife.