AN American tourist was bitten by a shark while snorkelling in waters off Guana Cay on Thursday, becoming the third reported person attacked by a shark in Bahamian waters in two weeks.
Police said the Fort Lauderdale, Florida resident was snorkeling with two other Americans off Nippers Beach around 5.30pm on July 4 when he was bitten by the shark. Officers and paramedics from Marsh Harbour, Abaco responded and met the victim at the Marsh Harbour dock.
The 32-year-old man was taken to the Marsh Harbour Clinic and later flown to New Providence for further treatment, police said. His current condition is unknown.
The incident came a week after an American woman was killed by sharks while snorkeling with her family in waters off Rose Island.
Jordan Lindsey, a 21-year-old college student from California, was swimming when she was attacked on June 26, police said.
Her right arm was ripped off and the sharks bit her other arm and both legs, in addition to other areas. She was taken to hospital where she later died.
Days before that fatal attack, an American man survived a shark bite in Abaco, raising further concerns about possible chum dumping in Bahamian waters.
Jonathan Hernandez, the victim, told NBC reporters he blames shark-feeding for his attack.
“They’re associating humans with getting food, and it’s making it very dangerous to be in the water, whether you’re spearing or you just happen to be snorkeling near where they’re feeding them,” he said recently.
Mr Hernandez said he is a professional boat captain, fisherman and an experienced diver who was spearfishing with friends off Abaco when he was attacked.
“I got hit so hard from behind I thought the boat had run me over,” he said. “I immediately looked to the left side and the shark was right in my face.”
He was bitten on his left calf but successfully swam to safety.
“I was able to get away, kicking away,’’ he said. “I looked in the water, and I could see in the water that my calf was hanging and gushing blood into the water.
“It all happened so fast it was kind of a blur of whitewater and fins and thrashing.”
Mr Hernandez’s friends quickly made a tourniquet for his calf out of weight belts used for diving.
“The fact that the tourniquet went on between 60 and 90 seconds of the actual attack was probably the single biggest factor and why I’m sitting here talking to you today,’’ he said. He told NBC it will be six weeks before he can begin physical therapy on his “shredded” left calf.
The Bahamas has traditionally averaged several shark attacks per year. Lindsey’s death was the first confirmed shark-related death since 2008.