Shark spits out swimmer who came within millimeter of severing a major artery

A SWIMMER has revealed the horror moment he was bitten by a shark that came close to severing one of his major arteries in the traumatic attack.

Steve Bruemmer, 62, needed to be given 28 units of blood after the 20-foot great white spit him back out again following the attack last month.

Steve Bruemmer, pictured, survived a great white shark attack off the California coast

Steve Bruemmer, pictured, survived a great white shark attack off the California coastCredit: Natividad Medical Center
Patrons rush to give Bruemmer first aid before he is transported to Natividad Medical Center for live-saving surgery

Patrons rush to give Bruemmer first aid before he is transported to Natividad Medical Center for live-saving surgeryCredit: NBC News

The shark that attacked him could have been one of the biggest in the world, experts say.

Bruemmer recalled in a new interview the exact moment he was “bit furiously by a shark right across my thighs and my abdomen.”

“And it grabbed me and then pulled me up and then dove me down in the water, then it spit me out,” he said.

Yet the swimmer still managed to keep his composure to make his escape despite the shark looking straight at him.

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

“I’m not a seal. It’s looking for a seal. We’re not their food.”

After the daring escape, Bruemmer was rushed to safety by two onlookers who witnessed his terrifying encounter with the predator while he was swimming off the coast in Pacific Grove, California.

Paul Bandy, a cop, and his wife Aimee Johns, a nurse, rushed to administer first aid after hearing Bruemmer’s horrifying screams and seeing the water filled with blood.

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Emergency services were called from the water and by the time Bruemmer got to shore and onlookers had given him first aid and two ICU nurses and a doctor were at the scene.

The hospital staff members used the clothes off their backs as tourniquets to help stop the bleeding.

He was then transported to Natividad Medical Center for further treatment.

Bruemmer praised the couple who rescued him as “heroes” asking: “How do you get in bloody water with maybe a shark circling beneath you to save a stranger?”

“They’re amazing,” he added.

RECOVERY

On the ride to the hospital, one of the responders in the ambulance reassured Bruemmer that the Natividad trauma center is “the best place you could possibly be.”

The hospital staff saved Bruemmer’s life in a two-hour operation that used 28 units of blood.

He’s since thanked blood donors saying “without you I don’t make it.”

Bruemmer’s doctor Nicholas Rottler told KSBW News that he put “a few hundred stitches” on the shark attack victim.

“The injuries that he had were easy for us to fix but if they’d been much deeper if it severed a major artery,” Rottler said.

The doctor continued: “He could’ve bled out in the water before anyone could get him to shore so it could’ve been much, much worse.”

Two days later, the hospital staff repaired Bruemmer’s thighs, so that he will be able to walk again after recovery.

“He’ll definitely probably have weeks to months of physical therapy just to give time for all the wounds to heal and the muscles to get strong again,” Rottler explained.

“He will likely walk out of here but he might walk to a rehab unit to do some rehab first we’ll see how he does.”

HOSPITAL RELEASE

After three weeks, Bruemmer was released from the hospital as a “Shark Attack Survivor,” according the the shirt he was wearing as he left the hospital in a wheel chair with a great applause.

Bruemmer became emotional as he recalled the work of the hospital staff on his release.

“There were a hundred people at Natividad that worked with me … encouraging and kind,” Bruemmer said.

“And I was in a tough spot and they were so caring and I’m going home now but I want to thank Natividad and the good Samaritans and the people on the beach and that lead-footed ambulance driver.

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“Without all of you, I don’t make it.

“So thank you so much. I’m going home. I’m gonna recover. I’m gonna be okay.”