Man 'chewed up and spat out' by a great white shark

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A 62-year-old man was inches from becoming fish food when he was attacked by a great white shark in California.

“It grabbed me and pulled me up and then dove me down in the water and then, of course, it spit me out,” Steve Bruemmer said in a video released by local TV station, KSBW.

The swimmer was at Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove near Monterey on June 22 when the shark took a bite.

“I was about 150 yards from the beach when wham!” the retired college professor explained from his hospital bed.

“I don’t even know what happened, but it was just..well..turns out I was bit ferociously by a shark right across my thighs and my abdomen.”

Mr Bruemmer in hospital in bed (left) and in a wheelchair (right)
Doctors say the 62-year-old came within a millimetre of losing his life. Source: KSBW/CBS

Mr Bruemmer thinks the shark had mistaken him for a seal and fortunately let go after realising that he wasn’t food.

“It was looking at me, right next to me,” he said.

“I thought it could bite me again so I pushed it with my hand and I kicked at it with my foot and it left.”

One millimetre from death

It was a close save for the avid beachgoer and triathlete but he wasn’t out of danger just yet, bleeding profusely from his wounds.

Raising the call for help, two paddleboarders, one a nurse, the other a policeman, and a surfer came to his rescue.

“The three of them in the bloody water got me up onto the surfboard and pulled me into the beach,” Mr Bruemmer said.

“Heroes. How do you get into the bloody water, with maybe a shark circling beneath you, to save a stranger? They’re amazing.”

Mr Bruemmer being rescued by two paddle boarders and a surfer (left) and the closed beach (right)
Mr Bruemmer was rescued by two paddleboarders and a surfer who used a surfboard to get him out of the water. Source: KSBW/CBS

In another twist of fate, two ICU nurses and a doctor were on the beach.

Mr Bruemmer says they used their own T-shirts to make tourniquets to stop him from “bleeding to death.”

He was then rushed to hospital by a “lead-footed ambulance driver” and underwent a two hour emergency surgery during which he received 28 units of blood.

Doctors say he is lucky to be alive after the shark came within a millimetre of severing a major artery.

Calm before the storm

Mr Bruemmer recounted the fin-credible tale in a video released by the Natividad Medical Centre on Wednesday.

In the clip, he said it was “such a beautiful day” before the shark struck.

“There was no wind, the ocean was flat, there were no waves, it was so calm.”

After recovering from the major surgery, Mr Bruemmer was discharged from hospital to a standing ovation from medical staff, thanking all of those who helped save his life.

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