Largo man survives shark attack while in the Bahamas

TAMPA, Fla. - Erik Norrie was spear fishing while on a family vacation in the Bahamas, when he felt a sudden rush and then pressure on his left calf.

"It happened so fast.  I looked back and saw him ripping off a chunk of my leg," he said, as the shark took off.

Norrie immediately realized what happened as blood began pouring out profusely and making a large puddle in the otherwise pristine, blue waters.

He immediately yelled, "Shark!," alerting his other family members who were on a nearby boat.

"It was just one of those things.  'I can't believe this.  I can't believe this just happened.'  Just… wow," he said when he looked down at his leg.

The bite had severed muscles in his leg, and left a large chunk of his calf missing.

Pictures from the attack clearly show shark teeth prints in his skin surrounding the bite.

Meanwhile, his wife of 18 years, Spryng Norrie, couldn't believe what happened.

"Nothing could have prepared me for seeing him pull himself out of the water and seeing red everywhere," she said.

The couple quickly rushed Norrie to a clinic in the Bahamas, as his leg was tied off with a tourniquet that Erik had crudely fashioned out of materials from his spear.

The clinic was only able to provide pain medication, and they had to get to a hospital.  The nearest is in Miami, at Jackson Memorial.

With a private Learjet they were able to book, the two made it to Miami in 28 minutes and doctors immediately went to work.

He eventually ended up at Tampa General Hospital where he is awaiting a painful skin graft procedure. Doctors will take skin from his thigh and place it on his calf and wait for it to grow.

Meanwhile, Norrie is bed-ridden and can walk short distances with pain.

Doctors say he is facing at least three to six months of recovery time and rehabilitation.

Somehow through all of this, Norrie is able to keep a sense of humor about the situation, even telling friends and family a stunning revelation.

"Well, I always wondered what it felt like to get bit by a shark.  I always wondered.  Now I know," he said.

But even through all of this, Norrie says it's his faith in God that has pulled him through.

"There have just been so many people supporting me with prayer.  That's what's causing me to get better," he said.

 

Print this article Back to Top

Comments