A man was killed by sharks in a rare fatal attack this afternoon in the waters off Stuart, authorities said.
Stephen Howard Schafer, 38, of Stuart was kite surfing south of Stuart Beach about 4:15 p.m. when the sharks attacked him, according to Bureau Chief Doug Killane of Martin County Fire-Rescue and Martin County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rhonda Irons.
A lifeguard through his binoculars spotted the man floating about a quarter-mile offshore in an unguarded stretch of ocean, Irons said. The lifeguard paddled to him on a rescue board, pulled the man away from the sharks and carried him back to shore.
Rescue workers gave the man CPR before paramedics brought him to Martin Memorial Hospital, where he died.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the death, said sheriff’s Capt. Mark McKinley.
“I’ve been here 25 years,” McKinley said. “To my knowledge, this is the first shark-related fatality we’ve seen.”