Tobago Shark Attack Man Stable, Can Communicate. Beaches Still Closed.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. A bull shark similar to the one in the recent Tobago attack browses the Bahmas.
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A British man seriously injured in a shark attack in Tobago is “aware of what is happening” and “able to communicate”, his wife has said, according to BBC reports. However the full extent of his wounds is still under investigation.

Peter Smith, 64, was bathing standing near the shore in waist-deep water when he was attacked by a bull shark. He was not alone and two friends were with him and tried to fight off and deter the shark.

Mr. Smith remains in intensive care in the island’s Scarborough General Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

“Peter has suffered damage to his left arm and leg, puncture wounds to the abdomen and injuries to his right hand, the full extent of which are still being evaluated,” said Mrs Smith, of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire.

The Tobago House of Assembly said the incident involved a bull shark estimated to be eight to 10 ft (2.4m to 3m) long and 2ft (60cm) wide.

Its chief secretary Farley Augustine had said on Saturday that Mr Smith had had some fingers reattached after the attack, with “significant wounds” to one of his legs that would require “extensive work”.

“As of 09:00 local time today, Peter is aware of what is happening and is able to communicate a little, although he is still under strong medication,” his wife said.

She thanked “all those that assisted at the scene, and especially the two friends that remained in the water to battle the shark”.

Mrs Smith also thanked “the wonderfully kind people of Tobago for all their help and support”.

Eyewitness Orion Jakerov, water sports manager at the nearby Starfish resort, has said other people in the water were “physically trying to fight off the shark”.

He told the local broadcaster TTT Live: “I don’t think they saw it. They were about waist height in the water so they weren’t out of their depth.

“I think their backs were turned and they were just kind of lounging around. Nobody saw the shark coming.”

Bull sharks are most often found in shallow waters along tropical coastlines

Authorities closed seven beaches and all coastal areas between the town of Plymouth on the island’s northern coast and Store Bay on its western tip, a stretch of around seven miles (11.3km), in the wake of the attack.

Drones were being used to carry out surveillance of the area, and anyone operating a boat was urged to exercise caution.

Bull sharks are known to be aggressive and are most often found in shallow waters along tropical coastlines, making them – along with great white and tiger sharks – among the species most likely to come into contact with, and attack, humans.

Source: BBC.


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