Doctors credit beach bystanders with saving shark attack victim

Surgeons are crediting the quick response of bystanders with saving the life of British shark attack victim Michael Cohen. Cohen’s right leg was severed by a bite from a white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) while swimming of Fish Hoek beach in Capetown, South Africa.

The Daily Mail reports that Hugh Till and Douglas Drysdale, who were in the area trying to spot whales, witnessed the attack and entered the water to assist Cohen back to shore. Bystanders applied a tourniquet to Cohen’s leg using a wetsuit and belt quickly after he was brought to beach following the attack. Surgeon Andrew Nicol told reporters that the quick action and proper first aid applied by those on the scene helped saved Cohen’s life.

The UK’s Channel 4 News reports that lifeguards told Cohen not to enter the water, due to three white sharks being spotted over a 90 minute period. According to the report, Cohen told the lifeguards that he was going in and that they should blame him and not the sharks, in the event of an attack. As of yesterday, Cohen remains hospitalized, recovering from his injuries, according to The Daily Mail.

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