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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See the top 10 deadliest animals around the world:

World's deadliest animals
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Tourist speaks out about near-death shark attack in Florida

Although they might look cumbersome and cute, hippos are actually one of the most feared animals in Africa, and can outrun a human. When a male feels its territory is threatened, or a female thinks her offspring her in danger, these animals can be particularly dangerous. And with huge teeth and mouth that can open four feet wide, it's a good idea to steer clear.
Kills: An estimated 100-150 people a year.
Deadly technique: Hippos will charge, trample and gore its victims, and have been known to upturn boats and canoes without warning.
Lives in: Africa

Many people might not realise that the cape buffalo is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa, and will react with force when it feels threatened. These beasts can weigh up to 1.5 tons and stand at 1.7 metres high; they're so intimidating that even lions don't usually consider them dinner. Cape buffalos will charge, and then gore its victim to death with its impressive horns.
Kills: An estimated 200 people a year.
Deadly technique: These animals will charge and gore their victims to death with their huge horns.
Lives in: Africa

Out of the world's 2,000 species of snake, around 250 are thought to be capable of killing a man. The Asian cobra does not have the deadliest venom, but is believed to be responsible for the biggest portion of the thousands of snakebite deaths every year. In Africa, the black mamba is the largest venomous snake and, during an attack, can strike up to 12 times, each time delivering enough neuro and cardio-toxic venom to kill a dozen men within 1 hour.
Kills: An estimated 50-125,000 people a year.
Deadly technique: A snake will use its fangs to pierce the skin and inject its paralysing venom.
Lives in: Africa, Asia, Australia, North America

Box jellyfish can have up to 60 tentacles as long as 15 feet. And each tentacle contains enough venom to kill 50 humans, making it one of the most venomous marine creatures in the world. If stung, a box jellyfish can kill a man within minutes.
Kills: An estimated 100 people a year.
Deadly technique: Jellyfish use their tentacles to pump venom and paralyse its prey. Deaths in humans are usually a result of cardiac arrest.
Lives in: Northern Australia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Apart from humans, the mosquito is the deadliest creature on the planet. It kills millions of people every year through the spread of diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Many of the malaria victims are children under the age of five.
Kills: Two to three million people a year.
Deadly technique: Female mosquitos pierce the skin with serrated mouth parts, and inject a saliva with a thinning agent to liquidise the blood.
Lives in: Worldwide, more harmful in Africa, Asia and North America

The great white shark, which can grow up to six metres in length and weigh up to five tons, seems to have the most ferocious reputation. But, while they have been known to attack humans, most of these incidents are thought to be 'test bites', where the animal is deciphering whether he wants to eat you. And, generally, they humans are not on the menu. It is thought the aggressive bull shark is responsible for the most attacks on people. Out of the 360 shark species, only four are known killers: the great white, the bull, tiger, and the oceanic white tip.
Kills: An estimated 100 people a year.
Deadly technique: Sharks use their razor-sharp teeth to rip chunks out of its victims. Great whites usually take a big single bite, drag their victims into deeper waters, and wait until the prey bleeds to death before they eat it.
Lives in: Florida, Australia, Hawaii and South Africa.

The are lots of different species of bear, but the polar, black and grizzly are the deadliest. Native to the Arctic, polar bears could decapitate a human being with one swipe of their massive paws. Bears generally attack when they are hungry, so it's a good idea to keep food away from your camp.
Kills: An estimated 5 to 10 people a year.
Deadly technique: Bear will use their teeth and claws to maul and trample their victims.
Lives in: North America, Canada, North Pole, and Russia.

Crocodiles have been around for 200 million years, and are fearsome predators. The saltwater crocodile, or saltie, is the largest living reptile in the world, and can grow up to 21ft long and weigh 1.6 tons. These animals can run extremely fast on land, and, in the water, can swim as fast as dolphin. Many fatalities occur when people are washing or gathering food near river banks.
Kills: An estimated 600-800 people a year.
Deadly technique: Crocodiles will grab their victims with terrifying speed, and often launch into a 'death roll', weakening its prey, dragging it under water and drowning the victim.
Lives in: Africa and Australia

Out of the 1,500 species of scorpion, the African spitting scorpion is thought to be the most deadly, and can spray its venom up to a metre. Arounf 25 species of scorpion are thought to be deadly to humans.
Kills: An estimated 800-2,000 people a year.
Deadly technique: Scorpions use their tail stingers to paralyse their prey with venom.
Lives in: Worldwide; particularly Africa, the Americas and Central Asia.

Weighing in at up to eight tons, although beautiful creatures, elephants can be lethal. African elephants in particular can be aggressive, especially older bulls and young males. These creatures, unsurprisingly, are more aggressive in areas where poaching is rife or when their habitat is threatened.
Kills: An estimated 300-500 people a year.
Deadly technique: Most human deaths are result of the elephant trampling on its victim.
Lives in: Africa and India

African lions are the biggest of the big cats, and are known to kill around 70 people in Tanzania alone every year. With the destruction of their habitat, human attacks by leopards in India, and the North American mountain lion are thought to be on the increase.
Kills: An estimated 800 people a year.
Deadly technique: African lions will often use strangulation to kill their prey, while tigers will attack from the back and aim for the jugular, and mountain lions will maul their victims.
Lives in: Africa, North America, and India


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