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Man tells story of survival after being bitten by sharks in Bahamas

April 26 was supposed to be a typical work day for Marlin Wakeman. But that was the day that changed his life forever. “Me and my friends were talking like, 'Man, if you fall here, it's over,'” Marlin Wakeman said.

And that's exactly what happened to him in the Bahamas.

He was walking on the pier at the Flying Fish Marina on Long Island while working on a boat. He tried to climb aboard, but missed and fell into the water. “I was walking back to the boat and the first shark grabbed my leg and pulled me underwater,” Wakeman said.

More than a dozen Caribbean reef sharks swam in the marina. Wakeman ended up being bitten multiple times by these 7-foot predators.

“Luckily my captain was nearby and got help quickly,” Wakeman said.

These sharks usually stay in that area because people throw leftover carcasses when they finish fishing. For Wakeman and those who work on boats in the area, it has become a major safety concern.

“I was bleeding a lot at that point and the adrenaline started to wear off a little bit,” Wakeman said. “That was the first time I passed out from the pain, so yeah, it really, really hurt.”

He has two punctures in his knee, in addition to several other injuries. Medical teams in the Bahamas helped with damage control by using a tourniquet and stitching his wounds.

Wakeman's parents remember the call they received that afternoon.

“I really can’t describe it. You just go into shock mode. I suddenly felt like a million little pieces, and then I had to put it all back together,” said Melynda Wakeman, his mother.

They flew him the next day to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach.

“There was an injury to the surface capsule of the joints. There was a hole in the back of the kneecap,” said Dr. Rami Elkhechen, an orthopedic surgeon at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Medical experts quickly helped clean all of Wakeman's wounds and stitched him up properly.

“The soft tissue I repaired, the stitches were removed. There were many points. The wounds are healing well,” said Dr. Robert Borrego, medical director of trauma at St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The Wakemans thank the teams in the Bahamas and St. Mary's Medical Center for saving their son's life.

“It is not often that a shark attack victim is treated by a doctor who specializes in shark attacks. So we were very lucky there and I will be forever grateful,” said Rufus Wakeman, his father and captain.

WPBF 25 News asked Wakeman if he plans to get back on a boat soon.

“Oh yeah, as soon as I can, for sure,” he said, laughing.

Source: CNN Brasil

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