Now is this guy the luckiest or the most unlucky man alive? You decide.
Erik Norrie is recovering in a Tampa Hospital after a shark attacked him while he was fishing in the Bahamas. In his life time, 40-year-old says he has already survived a lightning strike, a rattle snake bite and two different monkey attacks.
BY PHILIP CAULFIELD / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Erik Norrie was bitten by a shark in the Bahamas on July 29. He’s recovering at a Tampa hospital and is scheduled to have skin grafts on Wednesday.
He might be the luckiest guy alive.
A Florida man who says he’s survived a lightning strike, a rattlesnake bite and two separate monkey attacks is now recovering in a Tampa hospital after he was bitten by a shark in the Bahamas.
The attack was first reported by Tampa’s FOX 13.
Norrie, who owns a company that makes paint for boats, had been spearfishing for grouper off Great Guana Cay and was swimming back to his family aboard their 33-foot Hydra-Sport when the predator struck.
“I just felt this tremendous power hit my leg,” he told the Daily News. “When I looked back, I saw the shark ripping the side of my leg off. He was shaking his head and eating it.”
The 40-year-old Largo resident managed to shake the shark off and hobble to a sandbar, where he fashioned a tourniquet below his knee using part of his Hawaiian sling spear.
The wound on Norrie’s left calf. The 40-year-old was spearfishing for grouper off Great Guana Cay when the shark bit him. ‘There was blood was squirting in three directions, like a pumping heartbeat,’ he said.
His daughter radioed for help, and a doctor and her family who were boating nearby sped over and helped get him ashore.
“There was blood was squirting in three directions, like a pumping heartbeat — squirt, squirt, squirt,” Norrie recalled.
After doctors at a local Marsh Harbour hospital stabilized him, Norrie was flown by helicopter to Jackson Memorial hospital in Miami, where he underwent surgery.
On Wednesday, doctors at Tampa General are scheduled to take two hunks of flesh from his thigh and graft them onto his calf. Recovery will likely take months.
Norrie said he’s in pain, but thankful to be alive.
“I do believe that all my heart that the Lord was the one who sustained me through his whole thing,” he said.
It wasn’t the Florida native’s first extreme brush with Mother Nature. Or his second. Or third.
As a 10-year-old in Seminole, Fla., he was blown off his feet but unhurt when an oak tree he was standing under got hit by a bolt of lightning during a storm.
Norrie walking a week after the accident. In his lifetime, he’s been attacked by monkeys, struck by lightning and bitten by a rattle snake.
Some three years later, he spent two weeks in intensive care and nearly lost his right leg after a rattle snake bit him while he was walking with pals at Seminole Lake Country Club, he told the News.
And he’s been attacked by monkeys twice, though neither was as serious as the shark incident.
The first was during a work trip to Brazil, when he wandered to close to a monkey in the Amazon, resulting in a primate-punch to the head.
The second was at farm in Honduras, when, as a joke, his wife locked him in cage with a small, feisty simian.
Norrie said the beast jumped on his head and chest, bit him and pelted him with his own keys.
Outside the cage, his wife was in no hurry to help, he said.
“She took photos and giggled,” he said.