Florida There was blood in the water, the sharks were circling and a grievously hurt Stephen Schafer — his thigh gashed and his hand mauled — was screaming in pain by the time the lifeguard reached him.
The lifeguard pulled Schafer onto his rescue board, but his cries quieted as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
He would soon be dead, marking the first deadly shark attack in Florida in five years, and perhaps a rare instance of a lethal attack by a swarm of sharks.
Schafer, 38, was attacked Wednesday afternoon a quarter-mile off South Florida’s Atlantic Coast while he was out kiteboarding — using a large kite-like sail to pull him along the surface on a board strapped to his feet. When the winds lightened and his sail dropped, the Stuart man found himself in the water, surrounded by sharks.
“The one thing he said is he’d been bitten by a shark,” said lifeguard Daniel Lund, 46, who pulled Schafer ashore.