A Waco dentist and Brownwood native is recovering after a shark attack over the weekend while vacationing with his family in the Bahamas.
Dr. Steven Cutbirth, a 1972 graduate of Brownwood High School, was free diving and spear fishing when the attack happened Saturday, according to KWTX-TV in Waco.
In a minute-long video posted onto his Facebook page, Cutbirth said he had just speared a “giant” hogfish. With the fish still alive, Cutbirth said, as he was swam up to the surface, “It felt like a truck hitting me in the face,” referring to the shark.
Cutbirth said it was a bull shark, and couldn’t tell whether it was biting him or just hitting him head on. “My bell was kind of rung.”
“Out of nowhere, I felt like I was hit by a freight train in the head,” he said to KWTX-TV. “He kept hitting me, so I started knocking him off with my arm.”
The shark knocked off Cutbirth’s mask before biting him in the face and right leg. He said he didn’t realize the severity of his injury until climbing into the boat and seeing blood everywhere. Cutbirth said “(the shark) wasn’t going for me; he was going for the fish.”
He was then rushed to a local clinic in the Bahamas where he was treated and released. The attack happened on the first day of Cutbirth’s vacation but says he has no plans of returning home early.
“I can’t go into the water anymore. So I guess I’ll get to play with my 5-year-old granddaughter all week,” Cutbirth told the TV station.
In a post on the doctor’s Facebook page, his wife, Sharon Cutbirth, said, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for the outpouring of love and support in the wake of Steve's shark attack yesterday. Your love feels amazing and makes something that could have been so tragic feel so bearable. Your well wishes touched our entire family and we greatly appreciate each and every one of you.”