Rescuers heard her cries for help in the water and dragged her to the shore, where they provided first aid. A tourniquet was placed on her leg to stop the bleeding until rescuers arrived. Doctors say it saved her life.
Tatyana Koltunyuk, that was the name of the victim, was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where doctors said she was in a critical but stable condition. A police report states that Koltunyuk lost about 20 pounds (9 kg) of flesh as a result of the bite. However, The New York Times notes that this figure was likely greatly inflated.
Calm and shock
Tooth marks on the victim's leg indicate that it may have been bitten by a bull or hammerhead shark, although the possibility of encountering a great white shark cannot be ruled out.
"It's definitely a shark bite," Dr. Gavin Naylor, program director for the Florida Shark Research Program, said after seeing the image of the victim's wound.
Shaneka Thomas, a Parks Department official who witnessed the attack, noted that despite being horribly injured, the woman remained relatively "calm" when rescuers approached her. They tried to talk to her, but did not get a clear answer.
“There was a lot of excitement. I think she was in shock because she didn't answer them. She muttered. But at the same time, she seemed calm,” he added.
José Diaz, who has worked as a lifeguard for over 50 years, said he had never seen anything like it.
“She lost a lot of blood. The artery came right out. You could see bones and everything. It was crazy.” recalls He. The rescuers were personally acquainted with Tatyana, because she regularly visited this beach.
"Thank you for being alive"
The victim's family said their mother was "grateful to be alive" after the harrowing encounter with the shark.
“We are all grateful to the lifeguards, emergency workers and Jamaica Hospital team,” they said relatives of Tatyana Koltunyuk, who moved to America from Odessa.
“We are deeply moved by the support we have received, but first of all we ask everyone to respect our privacy as we want to focus all our energy on helping her recover,” they added.
In the aftermath of the attack, lifeguards were instructed to follow the advice of the NYPD and the fire department, and the beach was temporarily closed to swimming. Today (August 10) it was opened.
According to the unofficial Global Shark Attack File, the attack on a Ukrainian woman was indeed the first confirmed shark attack in New York City since the 1950s. The last documented shark bite in the area was in 1958, when a man was bitten by a harpoon shark after the animal had been provoked.
Scientists attribute the appearance of sharks near New York to the improvement of the ecological situation in this area of the sea. More fish appear there, which are hunted by sharks.