Florida shark-attack victim recalls thinking he was going to die

A Florida man who nearly died in a shark attack last week while he snorkeled off the Bahamas recalled seeing a pool of blood and thinking he wouldn’t make it to shore.

MyFoxTampaBay.com interviewed Erik Norrie while he waits for a series of skin grafts inside a Tampa General Hospital room. He credits, in part, his quick-thinking father-in-law and a doctor who was vacationing from San Diego who happened to be nearby.


"My daughter, she got on the radio, calling out, 'Help, help, my dad's been attacked by a shark,'" Norrie said on Monday. He recalled using large rubber bands from his spear to tie around his leg to cut off the blood flow.

The attack occured off the Abaco Islands. He had just finished lunch and went spearfishing for grouper. He speared one and swam back toward the boat.

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"And all of the sudden, I felt this [crunch] on the back of my leg," he said.

Norrie is no stranger to unusual occurrences. He told the station he has been struck by lightning, and suffered rattlesnake bite.

He recalled looking back and saw the shark swimming off with a piece of his leg.

"My father-in-law jumped in the water, between me and the shark, which was pretty courageous on his part,” he said. "I immediately threw the spear down with the fish because there was an enormous pool of blood around me and that shark was swimming all through the blood, sort of looking around, for more."

"I didn't keep my head cool, the Lord kept my head cool," Norrie said.

The San Diego doctor helped the family get Norrie to shore and to a medical facility, and then to Jackson Hospital in Miami.

"That was a tough ride," said Norrie. "I really did think I was going to die."

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