Northern California shark attack victim expected to recover

Doctors in Monterey County said the swimmer attacked by a shark Wednesday is expected to make a full recovery.

Steve Bruemmer, 62, was swimming off Lover's Point in Pacific Grove when he was attacked.

Doctors said his injuries were some of the worst shark-bite wounds they have ever seen, and he needed more than 25 pints of blood. They said the quick response by witnesses who heard Bruemmer calling for help made it possible to save his life.

Miraculously, no vital organs were damaged.

Bruemmer, a Monterey resident, remains hospitalized at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He retired last year as an IT specialist and computer science instructor at Monterey Peninsula College, and regularly swims off the Pacific Grove shoreline with the Kelp Krawlers, an open water ocean swimming club. 

On Wednesday though, he was swimming alone.

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"The shark bite was unlucky. But after that, I have just had so much good luck," Bruemmer said in a statement released Thursday night. "The day was so calm and warm, and the beach was crowded."

Bruemmer was bitten multiple times, witnesses said, causing severe injuries to his legs and torso.

"There were no waves, and there was no chop. So people could hear me yelling "Help!" from a great distance," he said.

Scientists at California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s forensic lab in Sacramento confirmed Thursday the shark that attacked Bruemmer was a great white. DNA samples from Bruemmer’s wetsuit were used to identify the species.