A drunk Brazilian man reportedly died after he was attacked by a shark on July 10. Marcelo Rocha Santos, 51, reportedly waded into the surf at Piedade Beach in Jaboatao dos Guarapes, Brazil to urinate when the shark struck, biting his hand and leg. Santos was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The incident was the latest for an area that has seen a steady increase in shark attacks.
Santos was reportedly drinking with friends at the beach when he decided to urinate into the sea at around 2 p.m on July 10, reports Newsflash, via the New York Post. The surf became tumultuous at the time, making it difficult to see in the water. There were several signs warning people to stay away from the ocean, but the lifeguard on duty reportedly did not call Santos back to the beach because he was only in the water up to his waist. "As the beach has no bathroom, I went into the sea to pee. I was beside him [in] the water," Santos' friend, Ademir Sebastiao da Silva, told Newsflash.
The shark struck Santos, biting off his hand and taking off a piece of his leg. "It was a friend of mine who was in the sea with the person who was attacked. Suddenly, he saw the man struggling," witness Endriano Gomes said.
The lifeguard tried to stop the attack but was too late. Santos' friends were able to drag him back to the shore, where he collapsed. He was taken to a hospital in Recife, where he was pronounced dead. Da Silva was also in the water at the time and was shocked he was not attacked. "It could be me. It was God's deliverance," he said. "If I had been diving or lingered in the water, I could have been attacked."
The type of shark that bit Santos is unknown. However, the area has seen a drastic rise in attacks. They are reportedly common in July because of the heavy rains making it difficult to see in the ocean. There have been 62 reported incidents and 25 fatalities in the area in the past three decades. Experts blame this on the Suape Port, which was built in 1996 and has disrupted sharks' breeding and feeding patterns.
During the same week Santos' death was reported, experts in Australia suggested that shark encounters be called "bites," not "attacks." The change matters "because it helps dispel inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless man-eating monsters," Dr. Leonardo Guida, a shark researcher at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, told the Sydney Morning Herald. Dr. Christopher Pepin-Neff from the University of Sydney added that calling a shark encounter an "attack" is a "lie," since over a third of encounters end in no injury at all. Other attacks involve minor bites from small sharks.