Dramatic footage shows paramedics battling to help the man while he lies on the beach covered in blood

Dramatic footage shows paramedics battling to help the man while he lies on the beach covered in blood
A beach-goer has lost his leg after being attacked by a shark while swimming off the coast of Brazil.

Pablo de Melo suffered horrific injuries at Piedade Beach in Recife on Sunday and needed to have one of his legs amputated as doctors battled to save his life.

The shark ripped into Pablo's arms and legs as he swam through surf - in an area known for frequent shark attacks.

It's believed the 34-year-old survived the attack because two men, who were in the water nearby, risked their own lives by bravely chasing off the beast and hauling the severely injured man out of the water.

A team of lifeguards and fire officers carried out first aid before airlifting the victim to Restoration Hospital where he was rushed by a trauma team into surgery.

Doctors reported the tourist, who was vacationing with his family in the holiday resort, underwent a four-hour life-saving operation.

A Pernambuco health department spokesperson said: 'Surgeons were unable to save the patient's right leg due to the severity of the wounds. They diverted arteries and veins through revascularisation surgery to the injured areas in his upper and lower arms and restored blood supply. He has been transferred to intensive care on life-support and remains in a serious condition.'

According to fire department Major Aldo Silva, the victim was not in deep water when he was attacked.

'Mr Melo was swimming near the surf line, which would have been a least waist deep if he stood up, when he was bitten several times by the shark,' he explained.

'He was probably bitten first on his legs then when he tried to defend himself, the shark reacted to his frantic movements and latched onto his arms.'

The area where the holidaymaker was swimming is marked by warning signs signalling the dangers of attacks. It's believed the species responsible could be either a bull shark or tiger shark, both are known to prowl close to the water's edge.

Lifeguard Wellington Miranda said: 'The victim was conscious when he was rescued. He was in a state of shock, in lot of pain and had suffered severe lacerations to his arms and deep wounds to his legs.

'We managed to stem the bleeding and stabilise his vital signs before flying him by helicopter to hospital.'

A shocking video shows the blood-soaked victim, with chunks bitten out of his legs and arms, lying on the beach while rescuers tie tourniquets around his thighs and upper arms to stop the bleeding.

Doctors said the man needed a four-hour operation to save his life once he got to a nearby hospital

Doctors said the man needed a four-hour operation to save his life once he got to a nearby hospital
Maria Lourenço, 57, a beach snack seller, witnessed the moment of the attack.

She said: 'Someone started shouting "Shark, shark!" because they said they had seen a fin. They tried to alert people in the water and particularly this man, who was near where the shark appeared. But he didn't have time to get out of the water before he was attacked many times.

'I've been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks. It was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.'

Colonel Leodilson Bastos, of the Shark Incident Monitoring Committee (Cemit) told G1: 'We are analysing the incident on Piedade Beach to verify exactly what happened.

'Our investigation will involve collecting as much information as possible to determine what type of predatory species attacked the victim and why.'

He said there has been no recorded shark attacks for three years on Piedade Beach since the monitoring body stepped up efforts to warn swimmers of the hazard zones.

More than 110 warning signs have been installed on popular resort stretches along the Pernambuco State coastline where incidents have occurred.

The last fatality in the tropical region, which boasts warm waters and beautiful beaches, was in 2013 when 18-year-old Bruna Gobbi suffered gruesome injuries to her left leg.

The teenager was holidaying with her family on Boa Viagem Beach and paddling in shallow waters off the coast when she was dragged by strong currents into deeper waters and attacked in the undertow.

Since 1992, 24 people have died of shark attacks with over 60 registered incidents in the region.

Col. Bastos explained that tourists, both domestic and international, are often unaware of the risks but should always take note of the signs and the natural conditions before entering the sea.

'Unfortunately, some people fail to heed the warning signs and ignore them at their own peril,' he said.

'The signs are there because previous research shows it is a hazardous area for shark attacks.'

Entering the sea after rainy weather which leaves the waters cloudy is ill-advised because shark tend to lurk undetected in the murky conditions, he said.