Tourist speaks out about near-death shark attack in Florida


Tourist speaks out about near-death shark attack in FloridaOfficials believe a bull shark may have been responsible for the attack. Photo: Rex

A tourist has spoken out about a shark attack on a Florida holiday that nearly killed her.

German holidaymaker, Karin Ulrike Stei, is finally walking again after a shark took a huge chunk out of her thigh two months ago in waters off Vero Beach in Florida.

According to the Daily Mail, she said the pain of the attack was a 15 on a scale of one to 10.

She said: 'It never surfaced... It was so powerful and so big I knew it had to be a shark.'

The TC Palm reported that Karin and her friend were swimming in waist-deep water when the incident occurred. Karin was about 30 yards from the shore, while Schmid was 20 to 25 yards out.

Schmid told investigators she did not realise her friend was in trouble until she heard her shout "Shark!"

She turned to see Karin surrounded by a pool of blood.

A lifeguard named Erik Toomsoo and a Michigan tourist called Dave Daniels immediately came to her rescue.

Karin told the Daily Mail: 'Thank God, somebody got me out.It was so bad. It was the worst I ever felt in my life.

"I thought, 'My God, all these people are here to help me and I was so lucky to be swimming in an area where there were other people around'".

A group of construction workers, as well as two other lifeguards, Jordan Farrow and Shanna Beard, also helped with the rescue.

Dave Daniels told "I started running out there and hoping that somebody else would see her and rescue her. Me and another person got out there at about the same time. We pulled her in and got her to the beach, but the wound was catastrophic. It was terrible."

Onlooker Gloria Shire told the TC Palm: "These guys went right in. They didn't care if there was a shark in the water."

A Martin County Fire Rescue LifeStar helicopter was in the area, coming back from an operational visit at the Sebastian River Medical Center, when one of the flight paramedics saw the trail of blood in the water.

He told the pilot and the rescue helicopter landed and was used to ferry the injured tourist to hospital.

According to, eyewitnesses say the shark attack severed Karin's femoral artery and removed a large portion of her upper left thigh.

The bite went down to her bone, but Karin says the nerves in her leg survived, and she is hopeful of walking without crutches again.

Karin said she is not mad at the shark, adding: "You start to appreciate life more and what is important and what is not."

It is not known what type of shark attacked her, although officials said it was something larger than the blacktip sjarks commonly seen in the areas, possibly even a bull shark.

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