UPDATED 7:26 PM PT – Thursday, June 23 2022
A swimmer is in critical condition after he was attacked by a shark off the coast of central California.
Police said Steve Bruemmer was swimming at Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove when he was attacked by a shark Wednesday morning. The attack left him with serious injuries to his arm, stomach and leg.
Nearby surfers were able to pull Bruemmer onto a board and to the beach. Good Samaritans began performing first aid until paramedics arrived. Witnesses described seeing a very large shark. Firefighters deployed a drone to search for the shark, but authorities were unable to locate the animal following a search.
“I saw there was a swimmer out there and he was screaming for help,” said a local police officer. “Then some paddleboarders went after him, got him on the board, brought him in and the paramedics took him away. He was screaming for help, you could tell just from the sound and emotion in his voice that there was something definitely wrong. He was slapping the water, as a police officer I respond to emergencies all the time. I don’t think there was ever a question of whether we were gonna go, it was just how fast we were going to be able to get there.”
According to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida, their were 33 unprovoked shark attacks on human in the United Stated last year. Three were fatal. Scientists have observed a rising number of sharks along the coast, particularly juvenile great white sharks, as warming waters shift the animal’s range.
Bruemmer suffered a broken femur, but is reportedly in stable condition and is not expected to require amputation or major surgery.
Police said the beach at Lovers Point will remain closed until Saturday. Other nearby beaches in the area were also closed as a precaution.