A drunk Brazilian man has been killed by shark after he stepped into the ocean to urinate. The incident happened around 2 p.m. Saturday on a beach in Jaboatao dos Guararapes, a city on the eastern edge of the country, in, according to local reports.
Marcelo Rocha Santos, 51, had been drinking with a friend when he felt the need to relieve himself, so he headed unto the water to pee.
Eyewitness, Ademir Sebastiao da Silva, said he went with Santos at the same time to relieve himself.
“As the beach has no bathroom, I went into the sea to pee,” he said. “I was beside him with the water up to our waists.”
That’s when the shark attacked, pulling Santos under in a bloody struggle that ended with the victim losing consciousness.
“There was a lot of blood in the water,” said Edriano Gomes, who was also at the beach with da Silva during the attack.
Santos’ friends ultimately jumped in and pulled him back to shore. He was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Graphic photos posted online show that Santos lost part of his arm and a chunk of his leg in the attack.
The ocean was cloudy and turbulent at the time of the attack, which would have made it hard for the victim to see the approaching shark.
Da Silva said he’s still rattled after witnessing the attack up close.
“It could have been me,” he told Brazil’s Globo News. “If I had been diving or lingered in the water, I could have been attacked.”
A lifeguard was reportedly on duty at the time but was not able to intervene.
“The species involved is a tiger shark,” Jonas Rodrigues, a researcher at the Federal University of Pernambuco, told Globo News.
Rodrigues says the bite marks indicate that the tiger shark was roughly 2.6 metres long.
Local officials said the beach has a history of shark attacks, and that signs are posted to warn swimmers about the danger.
“I’ve been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks,” one local snack seller told Beach Grit of the unfortunate phenomenon. “It was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.”
There have been more than 60 shark attacks in the area in recent decades, including 25 other fatalities since 1992. A dozen previous attacks have been reported at the beach where Santos was killed, according to state data.