(WSVN) – Taking a dip at the beach on a hot summer day is not a bad idea, but Robert Alexander said there are times it can turn into a frightening experience.
“All of a sudden we heard a bunch of girls screaming,” said Alexander.
Alexander said a man was hurt, possibly bitten by a shark, in the waters off Jacksonville beach on Saturday.
He rushed in to help save the man with a lifeguard, who got to the victim first.
“Initially I saw the dark shadow in the water,” recalled Alexander. “I couldn’t tell you what type of shark it was. Uhhh you know, my main focus was to get him ashore.”
The creature that bit the beachgoer remains a mystery because the lifeguards did not see a shark. Kevin Mackey was one of the Jacksonville lifeguards that helped save the man’s life.
“I was directing the lifeguards,” said Mackey. “I told them to apply pressure [and then] we took his vital signs.”
Alexander said others, including additional lifeguards and a registered nurse, helped the man.
He was rushed to the hospital where doctors claimed his injuries to be severe.
“From his shin to the bottom of his foot was pretty much in shreds,” said Alexander. “Ummm his foot was dangling. You know as we carried him to shore we could tell he had no movement within his foot.”
A video was taken by a beachgoer, a mere miles away at Neptune Beach, showed two sharks spotted swimming in shallow water that same afternoon.
Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Officer Maxwell Ervanian said to use what he calls situational awareness whenever someone is in the water.
“With sharks, they don’t necessarily travel in packs so if you see you know one fin that’s more of an indication of a shark than if you were to see a couple of fins which are probably more so be dolphins,” said Ervanian.
The ocean rescue officer wanted to remind people to get out of the water if they see something that worries them and to do their best to remain calm in any urgent situation.
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