An American woman had her foot bitten by a shark while she was snorkelling in the Turks and Caicos Islands – and it could not be put back in place because an emergency plane took six hours to arrive arrive.
The 22-year-old, from Connecticut, was celebrating her graduation from Yale University with her friend on the island when the horror attack happened, a local source told Dailymail.com.
She had signed up for a private sea excursion and had been snorkeling along Grace Bay Beach at the Bone Yard dive site at 3 p.m. Wednesday when she was ravaged by what the believed to be a Caribbean reef shark, the source said.
Shocking photos show the woman’s left foot bitten, still in her fin. The captain of the boat reportedly dove in to save her before she was rushed to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre.
He then retrieved his foot from the water and put it on ice. However, it was too late to relate after a six-hour wait for an emergency plane to transport the woman, who has not been publicly named, from an island hospital to a Miami hospital.
An American woman visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands had her foot bitten by a shark while snorkeling
The 22-year-old from Connecticut signed up for a sea excursion and snorkeled along Grace Bay Beach at the Bone Yard dive site at 3 p.m. Wednesday when she was attacked by a shark.
She was celebrating her graduation from Yale University with her friend on the island, a local source told Dailymail.com
An employee described her as an “impressive young lady” and said she had just run a marathon in the Netherlands last week.
“It was a super rare incident. I’ve lived here for 14 years and there’s only been one other incident where there was a shark bite and nothing was ripped out,” he said. he told Dailymail.com.
“It’s shocking what happened, I’m heartbroken for her.”
The woman and her friend were staying at a vacation home her parents owned when they went on a private snorkeling trip, inside the reef near Grace Bay Beach.
The water was said to be calm and clear before it was attacked by a suspected Caribbean reef shark.
The ship’s captain, trained in first aid, applied a tourniquet to her leg and stopped her from bleeding.
An employee called the police around 3 p.m. asking for an ambulance and she was immediately brought back to the dock where emergency services were waiting for her.
She was pulled from the ocean and placed in an ambulance within 15 minutes of the attack, potentially saving her life.
The captain then dove back into the water and managed to find his foot which was still in the fin and he was placed in an ice bucket before time was up to surgically reattach it.
The woman is in stable condition and was scheduled to meet her parents at a Miami hospital.
She was on a trip, run by Big Blue Collective where private dive charters start from $1,795, with her friend.
“The extremely rare and unfortunate incident that occurred yesterday outside the reef involving a diver and a shark occurred on a private trip,” a company spokesperson said.
“Only two people were in the water, which was clear and calm, when a suspected Caribbean reef shark injured a snorkeler in what is known in diving circles as a case of identity wrong.”
“The calm, quick and measured response from one of our captains and the office team meant the victim was pulled from the ocean and into the ambulance within 15 minutes, saving him from a situation potentially fatal.
“We applaud all the efforts of our team, paramedics and emergency responders. Our thoughts are with the victim, his family and loved ones at this time.
The woman was pulled from the ocean and placed in an ambulance within 15 minutes of the attack, potentially saving her life.
She was snorkeling inside the reef near Grace Bay Beach when she was bitten by the shark
And a spokesperson for the Turks and Caicos Islands Department of Environment and Coastal Resources said: ‘Yesterday at the Bone Yard dive site in Princess Alexandra National Park, a 22-year-old visitor from Connecticut was seriously injured. while snorkeling.
“Immediately after the incident, at around 3.07pm, a call was made to the police control room.
“Responding quickly, officers from the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police ensured the injured visitor was quickly transported to Cheshire Hall Medical Center for emergency treatment.
“The matter is still under investigation by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police.
“While such incidents are highly unusual in the Turks and Caicos Islands, swimmers, snorkelers and divers and boat operators are reminded to exercise caution on the water.”
There were multiple reports that the woman had lost her leg after diving in the waters near Blue Haven Resort, based on a police statement, but the details were wrong.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police later deleted their statement on Facebook.
Shark attacks are extremely rare, and the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File recorded just 57 unprovoked bites worldwide last year, five of which were fatal.
It is said that most shark attacks are mistaken in identity when sharks mistake humans for prey.
However, oceanic whitetip sharks, dubbed “the most dangerous of all sharks” by French naval officer Jacques Cousteau, can be aggressive towards humans. According to the Smithsonian, they’ve been noted as a danger to people stranded at sea, and they’re very potent during binge eating.
Tiger sharks are also among the most dangerous sharks for attacks on humans, with National Geographic saying they are second only to great whites in attacking people.
Experts suggest people stay close to shore and swim with a friend to stay safe and not wear jewelry or shiny clothing that can attract sharks.