Makeshift tourniquet saved shark victim's life

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The Independent Online

The British man who leg was bitten off by a shark was saved by quick-thinking bystanders who applied a makeshift tourniquet from a wetsuit and two belts, a surgeon said.

Michael Cohen, 42, was mauled by the great white while swimming at Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town, South Africa. He emerged from the water bleeding profusely from his right thigh and left ankle which was also bitten through. Professor Andrew Nichol said Mr Cohen was critical but stable in hospital after receiving more than seven litres of blood. "That tourniquet has consisted of a wetsuit applied around the thigh and wrapped around with two belts very, very tightly," he said. "It was an amateur tourniquet but it had almost completely resulted in a cessation of blood loss, and saved his life."

Mr Cohen was airlifted to Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic where he arrived fully conscious. One leg had been bitten off, and his left leg has a "major injury". Mr Cohen will go back into theatre in 24 hours for his wounds to be assessed.