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Video: U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Shark Attack Victim off Port Fourchon

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Image courtesy USCG

Published Sep 6, 2021 12:47 AM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a fisherman who was badly injured in a shark attack off the coast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. 

The 64-year-old man was a crewmember aboard the fishing vessel Moon Glow, and he had accidentally gone into the water while attempting to untangle nets from the vessel's propeller. When he fell overboard, he "was bitten by a shark of an unknown size and species," the Coast Guard said in a statement. 

The bite was so severe that the man's leg was partially amputated. To save him, the crew applied a tourniquet to the injured leg, then contacted the Coast Guard via VHF. The duty flight surgeon recommended an immediate medevac, and the Coast Guard watchstanders dispatched a helicopter rescue crew to the scene.  

When the helicopter crew arrived on scene, they lowered a rescue swimmer to the deck of the boat. The swimmer applied a new tourniquet, and the aircrew hoisted the man aboard for transport to University Medical Center New Orleans, where he was delivered in critical condition. 

Shark bites are relatively rare: in 2020, there were just 57 confirmed cases of unprovoked shark bite attacks worldwide, according to the tally maintained by the Florida Museum of Natural History. 33 of these cases occurred in U.S. waters, including 16 in Florida.