Shark attack victim on mend after surgeries

Shark attack victim on  mend after surgeries

Peter Smith and wife Joanna.


SCARBOROUGH, Tobago--Shark victim Peter Smith is on the road to recovery after undergoing multiple surgeries at the Scarborough General Hospital since Friday.

On Friday evening, Smith (64) was in stable condition, after he underwent a blood transfusion, doctors saved his limbs and his wounds were closed and treated.

The surgeries lasted a little over three hours on Friday, sources told Guardian Media. The surgical team is, however, now preparing to determine the next step in his treatment.

Secretary of Health, Wellness and Social Protection Faith B. Yisrael said on Friday reports from the medical team confirmed Smith’s appendages have so far been preserved and a comprehensive status report would be provided soon. She said the medical team at the Tobago Regional Health Authority was in constant communication with the family to determine the best way forward.

Smith sustained severe injuries to his left hand, left thigh and stomach after a bull shark attacked him while he was bathing at Courland Bay, also known as Turtle Beach, on Friday.

Smith, a guest from the UK at the Starfish Resort, was 10 metres away from the shore when he was attacked. The shark, estimated to be between eight and 10 feet in length and two feet in width, caused severe injuries to Smith, severing his left hand from the elbow down, severing his left thigh and lacerating his stomach.

Beaches in Tobago remained restricted on Friday, as the search for the bull shark involved in the attack continued.

Store Bay beach was a ghost town. This beach was among 10 – between Plymouth and Crown Point – restricted as officials from the Tobago House of Assembly, Tobago Emergency Management Agency, Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard and other stakeholders worked to locate the shark.

Despite Friday’s incident, UK visitor Hitesh Pujara didn’t think there was a shark threat in Tobago.

“It’s fantastic and I recommend everyone come here. Don’t worry, the sharks aren’t going to eat us, they might, but don’t worry about it, faith is there,” he said during a visit to Store Bay

He applauded the Tobago House of Assembly for taking the necessary action to protect those on the island.

“There has been an impact not only on me but all the visitors to the island. The government, rightfully, has taken some sensible precautions to shut down the beaches to protect us.”

Store Bay lifeguard Errol Cato told Guardian Media this was the first time he’d heard of such a gruesome shark attack.

“Some people were reluctant to come out of the water. It wasn’t until we let them know there was a shark attack. You know anything with shark people are afraid,” he said of their efforts on Friday to ensure beach goers were safe.

Another first-time visitor from Trinidad, Anil Ramsaroop, said he was disappointed he couldn’t enjoy the pristine waters but he said he understood the threat.

“I was very disappointed when we reach in Tobago because I couldn’t bathe in the beaches, because it’s so gorgeous and beautify. I’m disappointed but I don’t have a choice.”

Meanwhile, several British media outlets reported on the attack Friday.

In an online article, The Standard reported that Smith, a father of two from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was being comforted by his wife, Joanna (62), who has been at his side at the Scarborough General Hospital since the attack.

The report said Smith, a retired information technology (IT) worker, had been holidaying on the island with his wife and friends and was due to fly home on the day he was attacked.

It quoted Orion Jakerov, a water sports manager at the Starfish Hotel where Smith was staying, saying people with Smith tried to fight off the shark and that “nobody saw it coming”.

Briton Stephanie Wright, from West Sussex, who was with Smith, recalled what she saw: “I originally thought the gentleman had had a cardiac arrest and I thought they were helping him. I saw someone running down with a towel and then I saw a dorsal fin come out of the water and thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s a shark.’ As it turned, I saw the tail come out as well as it swam off.” ~ Trinidad & Tobago Guardian ~

The Daily Herald

Copyright © 2020 All copyrights on articles and/or content of The Caribbean Herald N.V. dba The Daily Herald are reserved.

Without permission of The Daily Herald no copyrighted content may be used by anyone.

Comodo SSL

Hosted by

© 2024 The Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.