Shark attack in Bahamas on Katie Hester in Bahamas shark attacks
Shark bite victim feared shark would kill her before she got back in boat
Katie Hester thought friends were just tricking her
PORT SALERNO, Fla. —Katie Hester, 23, said she was swimming in a trail of fish blood off the Bahamas on the Fourth of July, after spearfishing, when she felt a pressure on her leg.
“I thought it was our friends tricking me,” said Hester. But the tug increased and she then saw a 6-foot-long body next to her.
“I realized then it was a shark, and I screamed 'shark.' I didn’t want them to misunderstand me if I just yelled 'help,'” said Hester.
Hester was 6 feet away from her boyfriend’s boat off the coast of Port Lucaya in the Bahamas when the shark grabbed her leg.
She said the shark took one bite, then another and shook her -- its tail thrashing her torso, so she grabbed its fin and tried to push it away.
Finally, she was able to swim back to the boat and get up the ladder. “I used all of the adrenaline I had,” she said. “I flew up that ladder.”
Her boyfriend, Max Gluckler, said he swam back out to scare the shark away, and didn’t know Hester was bitten until he climbed on the boat.
“It was bad. It grabbed her in two big bites. One was like hamburger, all ragged. The other one you could see the bone on her calf and on her shin,” said Gluckler.
Gluckler, 27, works on oil boats in the Gulf of Mexico and said he has extensive first aid training. He put pressure on Hester’s wounds and urged his father to race the boat back to Port Lucaya, 30 minutes away.
“By then, it was hurting pretty bad,” said Hester, who said she didn’t look at her wounds for fear of frightening herself.
An ambulance rushed Hester to the hospital, where she said she received great care and dozens of stitches.
“I am just so glad I still have my foot, that I can still walk,” she said. The bite ripped her Achilles tendon.
Gluckler said the shark was one of a pair of 6-foot-long reef sharks that appeared from nowhere and were attracted by the blood of the two hogfish he’d just speared.
Hester said she had been looking forward to the fishing trip for months and was disappointed they had to cut it short.
Gluckler shook his head in admiration. “She did good. She did better than I would have,” he said.
Hester is recuperating at Gluckler’s Port Salerno home and said she should be able to walk again in three weeks.
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