SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento husband and wife who helped a man to shore after he was attacked by a shark off the Monterey coast spoke at a press conference in Sacramento on Wednesday, saying it was a “completely unexpected” situation.
Off-duty Sacramento police officer Paul Bandy and his wife Aimee Johns, an oncology nurse, went paddle boarding at Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove when they helped 62-year-old Steve Bruemmer to shore.
“We just decided to go for a nice morning paddleboarding excursion,” Johns said. “Took our paddle boards out and we put in right there at lover’s cove beach and paddle out to the left of the cove.”
“I don’t think either of us would’ve ever imagined being part of a shark attack or a rescue from a shark attack in our wildest dreams,” Bandy said.
While making their way back to shore, they heard someone calling for help with a “loud” and “distinct” cry like they were in “desperate need,” Johns said.
Johns told reporters they were far away from Breummer and couldn’t tell if it was a training exercise because there were lifeguards around and a surfing class was taking place in the area.
According to Johns, Bandy paddled to Breummer as fast as he could and as they got closer, she said there was blood in the water and the victim had lacerations all over him.
“That’s when I knew it was a serious situation,” Johns said.
Bandy said the instructor of the surf class, Heath Braddock, brought out a second surfboard so they could pull the victim onto it.
“I was definitely fearful,” Johns said. “I was petrified that the shark could be under there still and I could be the next victim.”
While they were making their way back to shore, Bandy said there was an Intensive Care Unit nurse, a physician and people who work in emergency medical services wating to help once they reached the shore.
“As soon as I saw the deep lacerations on his arm and leg, I knew we were going to need some tourniquets for controlling any type of blood loss,” Bandy said. “We were so thankful that was a group of people on the shore with even more medical experience than I have.”
“Without these great bystanders there offering their help and support, I don’t think he would’ve survived,” Johns said.
Bandy said he’s not going to stop paddle boarding and Johns added that’ll she take water safety courses to learn how to treat a drowning and trauma victim.
As for the victim, Bandy and Johns provided a statement from his wife saying, he’s “improving, doing fairly well and he may be discharged from the hospital” on Wednesday and is expected to get admitted to a rehab center to start his recovery.
“In the end, I think that he’s going to be the hero of his own story,” Bandy said. “We faced the danger, but he’s the one that actually fought off the shark and he has a very long road to recovery, we’re wishing him all the best.
“I know his family is 100% behind him and no matter how big that shark was, the love of his family and friends share for him is going to be so much bigger and it always will,” Bandy continued.