How much courage does it take to plunge your surfboard into a swarm of sharks to save a man? I don’t know that we will ever have that answer, but think about it. Daniel Lund is a lifeguard at Stuart Beach, Florida in Martin County. Stephen Schafer was in trouble about 500 yards from shore. Through binoculars, Lund could see Schafer hanging onto his kiteboard. See a video of Mr. Lund below, and hear his own shark-bite story.
Mr. Lund, 47, said he paddled 20 mintues through waves 4′-6′ tall, and eventually could see blood in the water and sharks circling. He went for Shafer anyway – extraordinary bravery:
I get to him, I’m probably within 20 yards or so from him, and
there’s just a lot of blood in the water,” Lund told the AP. He could
see several sharks circling nearby.
According to the incident report, Schafer was screaming that a shark had bit him.
Lund said he pulled Schafer onto his board and headed back to the
beach. The lifeguard declined to describe Schafer’s injuries, but said
he was conscious and speaking when they got to the beach and paramedics
began treating him.
Witnesses who saw the drama unfold said that the paramedics were powerless to save Schafer.
Mr. Schafer was 38 years old. See kitesurfing action photos of him here.
While this is Martin County, Florida’s first death from shark attack, the International Shark Attack File, says surfers and wind sufers “made up approximately 57% of shark attacks worldwide in 2008.” Florida has reported only 14 deaths by shark in the state’s history. I hope Mr. Lund receives due recognition from his community.