PHOTO!: The moment two heroes save the life of a British man who just had his leg bitten off by a shark

OMG, horror…


Caught on camera: the moment two heroes save the life of a British man who just had his leg bitten off by a shark

Sep 30 2011 Greig Box

Two elderly men saved a British shark attack victim by putting his leg in a makeshift tourniquet, doctors have revealed.

Trauma surgeon Professor Andrew Nicol described the improvised device Douglas Drysdale, 61, and his friend Hugh Till, 66, tied around Michael Cohen’s savaged right leg as “life-saving”.

The doctor, who spent four hours operating on Michael, said: “Self-made, improvised tourniquets don’t tend to work and are frowned on in the medical literature. But this was life-saving.”

He paid tribute to the men and others involved, saying: “I would highly commend the first aid that people gave on the beach – they saved the life of this patient.”

Michael, 42, was mauled by a three-metre great white as he swam in the sea off Fish Hoek beach near Cape Town, South Africa, on Wednesday.The Canadian-born accountant, – who has a UK passport and previously lived in west London – regularly swam in the area.

He lost his right leg and part of his left foot in the attack.

It was witnessed by local men Douglas and Hugh, volunteer preachers at a prison.

They ripped the leg off a wetsuit and used it, and two belts, to try to stem the flow of blood from Michael’s right leg. Minutes earlier, they had screamed warnings at the swimmer when they spotted the shark as they sat on a cliff.

But by the time they arrived near the water, Michael had been attacked.

A spokesman for South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute said: “Without hesitation, the two Good Samaritans kicked off their shoes and plunged into the water and waded through the surf to reach the injured swimmer.

“Douglas had called the emergency services before plunging into the water.

“As they reached the swimmer, Hugh grabbed him by the hand while Douglas grabbed Hugh and he dragged them shorewards.”

Another younger men helped in the dramatic rescue.

A crowd of onlookers on the beach noticed that the shark had returned and screamed at the trio to get out of the water.

The shark was just metres from them when a seal suddenly appeared, distracting it, the NSRI said.

Professor Nicol said Michael suffered “massive blood loss”.

His right leg was amputated above the knee. Michael’s left foot and ankle were treated for infection and “stablised”.

Michael – who is living in South Africa – was said to be in a stable condition last night.

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