(CMR) A Jamaican fisherman is now in hospital recuperating after losing his right arm in a shark attack over the weekend.
Michael Simpson told Jamaica Gleaner that determination was the only reason he was alive after a wrestling match with a 15-foot tiger shark. Simpson said he had to fight for his life.
“If mi never did a fight, mi dead out a sea,” the man from Lionel Town, Clarendon, said.
According to The Gleaner, the veteran fisherman of 29 years set sail from Salt River in southeastern Clarendon around 8 a.m. and was attacked between Half Moon Cay and Miller Bay after 2 p.m.
The shocked fisherman said his colleagues had been left traumatized by the attack. He recalled feeling something close to him but thought it was a fellow fisherman; however, he soon realized it was not.
Simpson said he started using the fish gun to push at the shark; however, the gun fell as the shark began pulling him. He continued wrestling with the animal.
After several cries for help and failed efforts to escape the shark's clutches, Simpson told The Gleaner that a boat driver was alerted to his ordeal and came to his assistance. The operator of the boat reportedly crashed into the shark, triggering its last flash of rage as it tore off Simpson's arm just short of the shoulder. He was rushed to Lionel Town Hospital before being transferred to May Pen Hospital.
“I couldn't breathe 'cause I lost a lot of blood, so it coming like mi lungs lock dung … . Mi just a tell them to throw water in my face, mouth, everything,” said Simpson.
The fisherman said he is grateful to be alive despite losing his right arm.
“I lose an arm, but a suh it go. Mi have to give God thanks, it could [be] worse. I fight back, and I am a winner today,” he said.
Simpson, who was right-handed, is however worried that as the breadwinner of his family, he will not be able to provide for his family. He urges fishers to be careful as they try to make a living. Shark attacks are rare in Jamaican waters, but a number of incidents have been reported in the last two years, The Gleaner reported.