Swimmer Bitten by Marine Life Off Miami Beach: Officials

The incident occurred on 22nd Street behind the W Hotel

Sunday, Sep 9, 2012  |  Updated 10:01 AM EDT
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A swimmer in the waters off Miami Beach was bitten by marine life Saturday after being surrounded by a school of fish, authorities said.

The incident occurred on 22nd Street behind the W South Beach Hotel, according to Dawson McDonald of Beach Patrol.

Witness and physician Guillermo DeAngula said he saw the victim screaming and swimming backwards in the water.

"At first I thought it was just someone having fun at the beach, just yelling, until I noticed his leg was out of the water, and the water was red in color," he told NBC 6 South Florida.

DeAngula also said that people assisted in applying two tourniquets to the man's leg, which had a puncture wound and gash.

Daniela Murcia, who was also at the beach, said she heard the man screaming for help close to shore.

"When he came to shore, his calf was bleeding like he had been bitten by a shark," she said. "It's scary because it wasn't even that far out, so it makes me scared to go into the water because you don't know."

Javier Otero of Miami Beach Fire Rescue said there was no shark sighting before or after the bite, but the size of the injury "makes it a possibility."

The victim's name was not released.

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