Shark attack victim off Key Biscayne remains hospitalized in Miami

Charter boat helps rescue spearfisherman after shark bite

MIAMI – A spearfisherman, bleeding, crawled into a charter boat without knowing two nurses were there ready to help, Hot Shot Charters employee Kayle Evans said Monday.

A good Samaritan used a blue fabric to apply a tourniquet to the man's left arm. It was likely a life-saving move. A person who is bleeding can die from blood loss within five minutes.

"Those men have rescued him," a man who was recording a video from inside Hot Shot Charters Capt. Sig Ozols' boat said. 

He focused on two fishermen in another boat who helped the victim onto Ozols' boat. 

"He said shark a few times," Evans, who works with Ozols out of the Dinner Key Marina Pier 9 in Coconut Grove, told Local 10 News.

The man's wet suit was damaged. He was conscious and calmly kept his arm raised. Had he panicked, his heart would have pumped more blood. The nurses put the first-aid kit to use and Ozols called 911. 

"We were there for a reason," Ozols said. 

Evans said the man's arm was "mangled."

It took about 20 minutes for Ozols to get the injured man to Key Biscayne, where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue paramedics were waiting to take him to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. He remained there Monday night.

"I just tried to keep him awake, asked him if he needed water," Evans said. "He told me to rinse him down, so I sprayed him down."

According to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, the paramedic who treated him believed the 40-year-old diver suffered a "possible shark bite."

That same day in Volusia County, Capt. Mike Berard said there were two shark bites near the inlet of New Smyrna Beach. Berard said a shark took a bite of the left hand and wrist of a 20-year-old woman who was surfing and a shark bit a 21-year-old man's right foot. 

Safety tips

Unlike fishing from a boat, spearfishing is more dangerous. Here is what to do if you spot a shark that has been attracted to the blood during a dive:

  • Release your catch and swim quickly but smoothly
  • Leave the water if the shark comes closer
  • Don't dive alone. Sharks are less likely to attack a group of divers. 
  • Dive back-to-back with a dive partner and rise to the surface together
  • If it moves to attack, fend off the shark by hitting it on the tip of its nose with a speargun or pole-spear and take advantage of the opportunity to escape.
  • Do not play dead. Pound the shark, claw at the eyes and gill openings. 

Source: University of Florida's International Shark Attack Files 


About the Authors:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.