Friday, May 11, 2012

Florida: German Tourist, 47, Attacked by Shark, Major Leg Injury

German tourist Karin Ulrike Stei, 47, of Konstanz, who was swimming in waist-deep water with another friend from Germany, on Wednesday (May 9) at Florida's Vero Beach, was suddenly attacked by a shark only thirty yards from shore, when she sustained a serious wound to her left leg.

Subsequently, Ms. Stei was flown to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute in Fort Pierce.  The shark bite took a large section of Stei’s upper left thigh down to the bone, according to a lifeguard. Currently, she is listed in serious condition.

COMMENT: Fortunately, for Ms. Stei, there were plenty of lifeguards and Good Samaritans nearby to come to her aid, who rendered first aid  immediately and expedited her to the hospital.

As I have mentioned in several other postings in the past, there are a number of proactive steps that swimmers and divers can take to avoid shark attacks: (1) Enter the water only in areas where lifeguards are present; (2) Ask local police and first responders if there have been any shark attacks in the areas you plan to swim in; (3) comply with beach area signs that say "no swimming"; (4) never swim alone-always swim with a buddy who can come to your aid; and (5) always have a cell phone handy.

It is unknown as to what type of shark may have attacked Stei, but first responders intimated that it was probably a larger shark when compared to the smaller black-tip sharks that are occasionally seen farther out from the beach.

Vero Beach is a city in Indian River County, Florida. Piper Aircraft Inc. builds aircraft in Vero Beach. Major industries also include citrus fruit packing and tourism.