This week marks the fourth anniversary of one of the most horrifying shark attacks of all time.

Teenager Jose Ernestor da Silva, who had gone with to a beach known to be frequented by dangerous sharks, had his penis torn off by a tiger shark.

The 18-year-old was dragged to the shore at Piedade beach by lifeguards, but despite a three-hour operation at the Restauracao Hospital in the nearby city of Recife surgeons were unable to save his life.

Rodrigo Matias, from Recife’s fire department, said the lad was swimming with his brother in deep waters in an area marked by signs warning of sharks.

He said: “At the exact moment in which the lifeguards asked for them to come closer to the beach he was bitten.”

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Jose Ernestor da Silva was attacked while bathing in waters off the Piedade beach near Recife

A shocking video taken by a passer-by showed a lifeguard fearlessly wading into the water and pulling Jose from the sea.

Footage from the scene showed how the lifeguard desperately tried to stem the massive flow of blood from Jose’s groin area.

Paramedic Wagner Monteiro said: “The shark bite amputated his femur and his penis. He lost a lot of blood.”



Jose was pulled from the ocean and lifeguards tried to stem the bleeding and patch up his injuries before emergency crews arrived.
Jose was pulled from the ocean and lifeguards tried to stem the bleeding and patch up his injuries before emergency crews arrived.

Miguel Arcanjo, the director of Recife’s Restauracao Hospital, added: “He arrived unconscious, with an extremely extensive, very serious wound.

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“After the surgery, which ended around 9.30pm, he was admitted to the ICU.

“He lost a lot of blood, which was replaced, but he had a hypovolemic shock and did not recover.”



Rescuers told Jose to 'breathe' as his blood spilled out onto the sand
Rescuers told Jose to ‘breathe’ as his blood spilled out onto the sand

Piedade beach is notorious for its regular shark attacks.

The most recent was in July last year, when local man Marcelo Rocha Santos – who had reportedly been drinking on the beach with friends – was fatally mauled by a shark in waist-high water.

Jose’s mother Elisangela dos Anjos, 42, said that he had gone to the beach despite her warnings about the shark attack danger.

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She said: “He would go in secret because he knew that I thought it was dangerous. I wasn’t worried because I thought he was somewhere around the house.

“When I heard about it I went crazy, all the neighbours heard me screaming.”



A Tiger Shark is believed to have been responsible for the fatal attack
A Tiger Shark is believed to have been responsible for the fatal attack

Jose’s death was the 65th shark attack registered along the coast of Brazil’s Pernambuco state since records began in 1992.

Some 80% of those incidents occurred along the 18-mile stretch of beach in the region of Recife, a popular holiday resort for foreign tourists.

Over a hundred warning signs have been installed along the coastline where the attacks have taken place.



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