Treasure Coast Essay
7:20 am
Mon August 6, 2012

She survived a shark attack

Two months ago, a woman from Germany was severely injured by a shark off Vero Beach.  She survived.  But it was a reminder to everyone on the Treasure Coast to exercise care when going into the ocean.  It happened about 11 a.m. on May 9th.  Karin Ulrike Stei, 47, of Konstanz, Germany, was swimming just north of Humiston Beach about 30 yards out when a shark clamped its jaws around her left thigh.  She pulled her leg away and saw she was bleeding profusely.  Lifeguard Erik Toomsoo heard Karin’s cry for help.  He swam out and brought her to shore.  While medical techs were on the way, Erick applied pressure to the open wound with his hand and towels.  Other lifeguards gave her oxygen.  Karin was rushed to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce and several days later was flown back to Germany.  Surgeons there transplanted skin from her right leg onto her badly damaged left leg.  Now she is getting around on crutches.  A National Geographic Channel may include the incident in a series to be called “Why Sharks Attack.”  Karin thinks lifeguard Erik Toomsoo deserves a Carnegie Medal for heroism.  So do I.  For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.