‘I thought I got hit by the boat’: Teen survives encounter with shark

National News

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Lucas Cruz isn’t ready to get back in the water just yet. And who could blame him?

The 15-year-old is recovering after losing nearly 70 percent of his blood following an attack in Florida by a bull shark estimated to weigh 500 pounds.

Lucas was lobstering near Miami with family members when he spotted a lobster.

“I kind of tore off from to go get the lobster. And as I got the lobster and as I was swimming back to them to put it in the bag, I felt the shark bite me.”

He did not know at the time, though, what it was.

“It doesn’t feel anything like what you would think,” Lucas said. “I thought I got hit by a boat. But then I looked above the water and realized there’s no boat near us or near anybody in the water. So then I just realized it was a shark after that.”

“He was definitely showing signs of blood loss,” said Dr. Rizal Lim of the Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America. “Luckily, most of the bleeding was from muscle. You know, muscle can bleed, obviously, quite a bit.”

Lim gives credit to the trauma team at the hospital where Lucas was taken. If they hadn’t acted quickly, Lim says, he probably could have lost more blood.

Lucas’ prognosis, however, is good.

“He’s a young guy, you know, we’ll see what other reconstructive needs he has, in terms of skin and soft tissue,” Lim said. “But my guess is that he’s going to be back to normal soon.”

“The doctors told me today that I could start putting pressure on my legs, so that’s good,” Lucas said. “The wounds are all closed from what I’ve seen. It’s getting a lot better.”

And about going back in the water?

“Oh, I think I’ll eventually go back in. I don’t know if I’ll go in as soon as I’m OK,” said Lucas. “But I’ll probably go back in because a lot of what we do throughout my family has to do with the water. So I think if I stopped going in the water as a whole, I think it would be missing out on a lot.”

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