Daniel Lund, Noble Bravery In The Open Water

Daniel Lund, Noble Bravery In The Open Water

38-year-old artist and graphic designer Stephen Howard Schafer sadly passed away in southern Florida Wednesday due to two large shark bites in the first fatal shark attack in Florida in five years.

Stephen, a former competitive surfer, died from blood loss after being bitten twice while kite-surfing offshore.

While we mourn every loss of life in the open water, we have to salute the incredible bravery of Daniel Lund, the local lifeguard who willingly and immediately went to save Stephen, putting his own life in danger.

According to his interview with the Herald Tribune, Daniel said he saw at least three sharks circling Stephen in a pool of blood. “There were several sharks breaking the surface and blood in the water.”

Daniel first spotted Stephen from his tower on the beach and he could sensed trouble. Daniel’s instincts took over and he paddled 20 minutes through 4-6 foot surf on his longboard. “I get to him, I’m probably within 20 yards or so from him, and there’s just a lot of blood in the water with several sharks circling nearby.” After Daniel grabbed Stephen and pulled him onto his longboard, he began paddling back and said Stephen was conscious and speaking when they got to the beach.

Experts reported that the shark was likely one of the larger sharks that cruise the South Florida waters; perhaps a bull, tiger or white shark – which makes Daniel’s quick action even more heroic.

A video of Daniel is here where you can hear Daniel’s matter-of-fact, but ever so heroic, first-hand account, “…our job is to try and save everyone…you make every effort to do that…there is just a lot of blood in the water [when I get to him]. [Stephen] told me that he was bitten by a shark…with the amount of blood in the water, there is brown flashes [underneath] in the water. You are trying to calm him and comfort him as you try to get him in [to shore]. I need to get him in [to shore] because we are in a bad situation. [The sharks] are still around. [The blood] could trigger something where they could go into a frenzy…”

The unfortunate passing of Stephen – a true loss of a gifted artist – uncovered an act of courage and daring of fearless man – a family man who suffered his own terrible shark attack in 1986. His valor and gallantry humbles us.

A television interview of Daniel is here.

Photo of Stephen Howard Schafer by Chris Schultz. Photo of Daniel Lund after his own shark attack by Tom Kane of the Palm Beach Post

Copyright © 2010 by Steven Munatones
Steven Munatones