Woman bit by shark in critical condition

May 10, 2012 at 5:04 PM
| License Photo

VERO BEACH, Fla., May 10 (UPI) -- A German woman attacked by a shark off the coast of Florida is in serious condition after undergoing surgery, officials said.

Karin Ulrike Stei, 47, of Konstanz, Germany, was bitten by a shark late Wednesday morning north of Humiston Park in Vero Beach, TCPalm.com reported.

Stei and her friend Brigitte Schmid were swimming in waist-deep water about 30 yards from shore when the incident occurred, police said.

Schmid said she didn't realize there was a shark near them until Stei yelled for help.

The shark bit off a large portion of Stei's upper thigh, said lifeguard Erik Toomsoo, who rescued the woman.

Toomsoo was on a nearby boardwalk when he heard the women's yells for help and quickly responded. He pulled Stei to shore, with the aid of several other men who were near the scene.

A fire rescue helicopter was flying over the area when a paramedic on board saw the blood in the water and had the helicopter land to pick up Stei.

Stei was then flown to a Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce, police said, where she was in surgery until about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

She is in serious condition, police said.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to DNA cell repair pioneers
Priest suspended after defending pedophilia in TV interview
U.S. asks how Islamic State militants got so many Toyotas
At least 17 dead in Carolinas, more flooding expected
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr