Marcelo Rocha Santos died while drunk on the beaches in Jaboatao dos Guararapes in northeastern Brazil. The 51-year-old man was attacked by a shark while relieving himself near the sandy shore, losing his hand and a chunk of his leg during the gruesome battle.
Santos, who was spending the day at Piedade Beach drinking with his friends, decided he couldn’t “hold it” any longer, and entered the murky water to answer nature’s call. Marcelo Rocha Santos and his friend, Ademir Sebastiao da Silva, hit the can together at around 2 p.m. walking into the water at about waist height.
Due to heavy rainfall, the beach water was foggy, leaving much of the shallow blue water up to the imagination. It was difficult to spot critters in the ocean water, and though signs warned beachgoers to stay on the sand, the two men continued on their mission – facing the dangers of the deep.
“As the beach has no bathroom, I went into the sea to pee,” da Silva explained to reporters. “I was beside him in the water.”
The lifeguard on duty, who claimed he saw the two drunken men enter the water, decided not to order them back to shore, since they were only up to their waists. However, while Marcelo Rocha Santos stood waist-high in the water, urinating, he was attacked by what authorities believe to be a bull or tiger shark.
“There was a lot of blood in the water,” bystander, Endriano Gomes recalled of the terrifying attack. The shark struck Santos multiple times, biting off his right hand and chomping on his leg. Witnesses described the scene as horrifying, many claiming they saw Marcelo Rocha Santos struggling while the shark devoured two of his limbs.
“I was a friend of mine who was in the sea with the [Santos]” Gomes told reporters. “Suddenly, I saw the man struggling.”
While Santos drunkenly fought the shark, succumbing to multiple bites, beachgoers were helplessly watching from the shore. The lifeguard was unable to intervene, though when the creature finally fled, Santo’s buddies pulled him from the murky waters.
Marcelo Rocha Santos collapsed unconscious on the beach, having succumbed to his injuries. Bystanders noticed that Santos lost his entire right hand in the attack, with one capturing the terrifying moments as the victim lay still on the sand.
According to authorities, Marcelo Rocha Santos was taken to a local hospital in Recife, where he was pronounced dead. Ademir Sebastiao da Silva was the only other person in the water during the attack but was fortunate enough to be left unscathed as he watched his friend get eaten.
“It could be me,” da Silva acknowledged to a reporter. “It was God’s deliverance. If I had been diving or lingered in the water, I could have been attacked.”
Officials have not determined whether the predator that attacked the drunk man was a bull or tiger shark, though both are extremely common in the area. Piedade Beach is a hotspot for dangerous predators – the region recorded 62 shark attacks with 25 fatalities in the last 30 years. According to experts, the surge in attacks can be traced to the creation of the Suape Port in 1992, which disrupted breeding and feeding patterns for the dangerous sea creatures.
One witness, who sells snacks at the beach, explained that they had “been working on this beach for 25 years and during this time I have witnessed a number of ferocious attacks.” They continued, claiming that the recent attack “was horrible to see. Each time it is very frightening and sad.”
According to his Facebook account, Marcelo Rocha Santos lives in Recife, Brazil. Piedade Beach is a popular destination in the Brazilian city of Jaboatao dos Guararapes, and the larger Pernambuco region. The nearly 116 miles of coast has several popular beachfront destinations but has recently been home to a surge in violent (and often deadly) shark attacks.