Shark Attacks Swimmer at California Beach, Heroes Quickly Spring Into Action to Rescue Him

by Bryan Fyalkowski

A shark attacked a man swimming at a beach off the coast of California on Wednesday, but some brave citizens came to the rescue. The frightening event happened at Lovers Point in the town of Pacific Grove near Monterrey.

One of the heroes, Heath Braddock, talked with local news station KTVU 2 about what happened out there on the water. Braddock was paddle-boarding when he saw somebody out in the water, screaming for help and in great despair.

“We heard the cries for help probably about 100 feet beyond the orange buoy,” Braddock said. “So, we got my biggest board and the other gentleman helped me roll the victim on the board belly down and got him kind of centered and stable. We had him hold my foot and we paddled him in.”

Right Place at the Right Time

Another one of the saviors, Paul Bandy, told local news station KSBW 8 what happened from his point of view.

“He was screaming for help. We could tell the sound and the emotion in his voice that there was something definitely wrong and he was slapping the water,” Bandy said. “As a police officer, I respond to emergencies all the time. So, I don’t think it was ever a question of whether or not we were gonna go, just how fast we were gonna be able to get there.”

Bandy, an off-duty police officer from Sacramento, and his wife Aimee Johns, a nurse, were also paddle-boarding in the area.

“We had to quickly cut his wetsuit off of him and open it all up. Then we applied tourniquets to his limbs and also to his abdomen because he was bleeding severely,” Johns explained. “We were just glad that we could be there to help.”

As Johns alluded to, the main points of the shark attack were the victim’s torso and arms. Once the Good Samaritans got him to the shore, first responders were on the scene to deliver care as quickly as possible.

Aftermath of the Shark Attack

Local beachgoers say they cannot remember the last time there was a shark attack in the area, or even one spotted swimming in the waters. The U.S. Coast Guard, police and firefighters tried to locate the shark via drones and boats out on the water, but they were unsuccessful. Lovers Point and beaches in close proximity will be closed until Saturday.

KSBW 8 was also able to find out that the victim’s name is Steve Bruemmer. Friends of Bruemmer say he is a member of a local swimming club called the Kelp Krawlers and swims at Lovers Point multiple times per week. His condition is unknown at this time.

Fingers crossed that Bruemmer can make a full recovery and get back out on the water as soon as possible.