Diver attacked by shark rescued by fishing boat full of nurses in Florida

PHOTO: A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark, Aug. 3, 2019.PlayMiguel Martin
WATCH Nurses tend to shark attack victim who crawled on their boat near Miami

A spearfisherman who was attacked by a shark over the weekend in Florida was saved by a group of medical professionals who just happened to be in a boat nearby.

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The 40-year-old diver was bitten by a shark while diving near Key Biscayne on Saturday morning, and his companions flagged down a passing charter fishing boat to help him, Kayle Evans, an employee for Hot Shot Charters, told ABC Miami affiliate WPLG.

Little did the injured man know that the boat he was climbing into was full of nurses ready to assist him during his emergency, including Christine Haines and Glaiza Martin, a pediatric nurse and an operating nurse respectively at San Antonio's Stone Oak Methodist Hospital.

PHOTO: A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark, Aug. 3, 2019. Miguel Martin
A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark, Aug. 3, 2019.

Cellphone video taken by an employee of Hot Shot Charters shows a man in a wetsuit being helped onto the boat by two fisherman from another boat.

The bite was so severe that the man's arm was "mangled" and he was "just blood from arm to foot," Evans said.

The nurses immediately applied a tourniquet to the man's arm while Evans rinsed him off with a hose, he said.

"He was wearing a wet suit, but he had bite marks in about three different places," Haines, who was on vacation with Martin in Miami, told ABC News. "He had muscle and skin hanging off. The teeth marks were in his hand and skin was hanging off. There was quite a lot of blood."

PHOTO: A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark on Saturday, Aug. 3. ABC
A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark on Saturday, Aug. 3.

The nurses said they eventually found a first aid kit to help the diver, but it wasn't much to work with.

"Everyone remained extremely calm. It was a team effort," Haines said. "All hands on deck. Everybody helped. We commented afterward, 'Wow, everybody was very calm.' Even the guy that was bit -- he was extremely calm, which really helped him and the situation."

The captain of the boat, Sig Ozols, then called 911, and they were met by paramedics at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park within 20 minutes.

Ozols said he believes fate led them to be at the right place at the right time.

"We were there for a reason, and we made it happen," he told WPLG. "And I hope he’s OK."

PHOTO: A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark on Saturday, Aug. 3. ABC
A group of nurses was on a fishing boat off South Florida when a spearfisherman was attacked by a shark on Saturday, Aug. 3.

"We had to ask him, 'What happened?' Martin said. "He was like, 'It was a shark,' and we’re like, 'What kind of shark? What did it look like?’ and he just said it was blue."

"He just repeated 'shark' and 'help me' over and over," Haines said.

The man was still recovering at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami as of Monday evening, WPLG reported.

Two other shark attacks occurred farther north in Florida near the inlet of New Smyrna Beach on Saturday, according to the station. A 20-year-old woman was bitten in the hand while she was surfing, and a 21-year-old man was bitten in the right foot.