German tourist on life support after losing arm in Hawaii shark attack

Screenshot from Discovery network's "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives" TV show.
Screenshot by Dara Kerr/CNET

HONOLULU A German visitor who lost her arm in a shark attack while snorkeling off Maui was on life support, a hospital spokeswoman said Monday, a day after a Big Island surfer suffered leg injuries in Hawaii's second shark attack in less than a week.

Jana Lutteropp was in very critical condition, Maui Memorial Medical Center spokeswoman Carol Clark said. Lutteropp's family requested that people respect their privacy during this difficult time, Clark said.

Lutteropp, 20, was snorkeling 50 to 100 yards off Palauea Beach in Makena on Wednesday afternoon when the shark bit off her right arm.

A California high school teacher swam out to bring her to shore after he and other bystanders heard her scream. Her arm wasn't recovered.

One of her rescuers, Rick Moore, a 57-year old high school teacher and pastor from Orange County, California, told CBS affiliate KGMB in Hawaii it was a harrowing experience.

"All she had hanging out on her right arm was a bone and she was in and out of saying these words 'I'm dying, I'm going to die' and I kept saying to her, no you're not. We're going to get her to shore. We're going to save you," Moore said.

Moore said after Lutteropp was brought on shore, she lost consciousness. He said he gave her artificial respiration, which revived her. Moore said a nurse later told him at the hospital she lost so much blood and oxygen to her brain there may be permanent damage.

It's not known what type of shark bit Lutteropp. State officials investigating the attack said witnesses didn't see the animal.

On Sunday, a 16-year-old surfer suffered injuries on both legs after a shark bit him southeast of Hilo. He was airlifted to Hilo Medical Center.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed ocean waters along the Pohoiki coastline after the attack.

Earlier Sunday, officials closed Hapuna Beach on the Big Island's northwestern shore after lifeguards spotted a shark.

A report released earlier this year said there were 52 shark attacks in the U.S. in 2012. There have reportedly been seven shark attacks in Maui alone this year.