(AP) -- A shark bit a boogie boarder on the left ankle, tearing flesh down to the bone, hospital officials said.
Garry Turner, 24 of Portland swam back to the beach Saturday and was taken to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital in Lincoln City, and then sent by ambulance to Portland, said hospital spokesman Brandon Ford.
Turner was listed in fair condition Sunday.
He and two friends were boogie boarding and surfing off Cape Kiwanda near Pacific City. Turner said the three were waiting for waves about 200 feet from the coast when the shark attacked.
"I was sitting on my boogie board and talking when something grabbed my foot and tried to pull it straight down," Turner said from his hospital bed.
Turner said he didn't immediately realize he had been bitten. Wearing fins, his first reaction was to free his foot by kicking hard and thrusting himself back on the board.
But the shark circled back, and it was then that the three realized what had happened.
"My friend yelled, 'Shark. Shark"' Turner said. "I saw the gills just as it was dropping back in the water."
The three then paddled vigorously toward the shore and the shark apparently lost interest.
Witnesses told emergency workers that the shark was about eight-feet long and seemed to lunge out of the water. Area fishermen said it was likely a blue or a sand shark, among the most common types in that part of the Pacific Ocean.
Turner will likely make a full recovery because the bite didn't sever tendons, hospital officials said.
Ford said the last time a shark bite victim had come to his hospital was six years ago, when a surfer was bitten on the thigh. It was believed a great white was involved in that attack. That person made a full recovery, he said.
June 10 2002
JENSEN BEACH -- A
10-year-old Port St. Lucie boy was in stable condition Sunday night
after being attacked by a shark as he swam with a group of children 30
yards off the south end of the public beach.
services flew Corey Brooks, who was suffering reportedly from a 12- to
14-inch gash in his right calf, to St. Mary's Medical Center in West
Palm Beach. Brooks underwent surgery Sunday evening at St. Mary's,
according to his mother, Tammie Brooks of Port St. Lucie.
April 30, 2002
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) -- A shark dragged a man from his friend's arms and killed him Tuesday off Australia's southern coast, officials said.
The victim, a 23-year-old professional diver, was diving for scallops from an anchored boat with a friend when he was attacked by the shark, South Australia Ambulance spokesman Lee Francis said.
The friend tried to pull the victim onto the boat but the shark pulled the man into the water, Francis said. The victim's name was not released.
The victim's friend was not hurt, but was taken to a hospital to be treated for shock.
"I understand he (the victim) came to the surface. There was a cry for help," Francis said. "But as the other person tried to get him on board, the shark grabbed him and pulled him underneath."
Francis said the men's boat was anchored off the small South Australian fishing port of Smoky Bay, about 500 kilometers (310 miles) northwest of the state capital Adelaide, when the attack happened around noon.
Smoky Bay is known as haunt of the great white shark.
However, officials could not confirm what kind of shark was involved in Tuesday's attack.
It was the fifth fatal shark attack in South Australian waters in the past four
Relentless shark attacks Deerfield Beach snorkeler
Turks and Caicos Islands
Caribbean cop's shark survival story
A retired British police officer is recovering in the Caribbean after a horrific ordeal in which at least one of his colleagues was killed by sharks.
Phil Harding, a former detective superintendent, was on the Turks and Caicos Islands as part of the government's initiative to help train local detectives, when a freak wave capsized their fishing boat.
He and his colleague clung desperately to the over-turned hull of the boat and four times he was washed off by the force of the waves.
Then they watched in horror as sharks circled around them.
"I couldn't grip the bottom of the boat but luckily my colleague gave me the courage to hang on," he told BBC Radio Five Live.
"We kept losing hope that we would be rescued and didn't think we could make it.
"In the night we could see sharks swimming around the boat. It was a nightmare."
Mr Harding, from Derby, and his colleague, a sergeant with the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police, were eventually rescued by a Cuban tug boat.
They were suffering from sunburn and dehydration.
One of their fellow fishermen died after being attacked by sharks, while another is missing.
The ordeal began on Saturday when Mr Harding and three colleagues from the local force set out on the fishing trip.
Not long after they left, the motor stopped working and their small boat began to take on water.
A short time later it capsized, leaving the men clinging to the upturned hull.
Two of the officers decided to try to swim ashore, leaving Mr Harding and another man behind.
For more than 30 hours, they stayed in the water drifting in and out of consciousness.
'Lucky to be alive'
Doctors on the Turks and Caicos Islands say Mr Harding is extremely lucky to be alive.
Mr Harding said: "I was just so grateful that we made it. I'm not a strong swimmer so I'm extremely relieved.
"You wouldn't believe the thoughts that were going through your head when you think you are not going to make it - thinking of my wife and family and my finances, making sure they would be looked after.
"Now my thoughts are with my friends' families. They tried to swim and didn't make it."
Teenager attacked in the dark by shark
January 04 2002 South Africa
Shark attacks man on surfski
JAN.2.2002 South Africa
Nursing a sore and heavily bandaged foot, a Zululand doctor on
Wednesday recounted his ordeal on a surfski off Mtunzini on New Year's Day
when he was savaged by a shark.
Snorkeler survives encounter with shark
California musician Tommy Holmes is "ecstatic" to be alive after staring into the jaws of one of the ocean's most feared predators while snorkeling off Maui on New Year's Day.
The 35-year-old Los Angeles resident, who was snorkeling with his girlfriend, escaped the encounter with six lacerations on his buttocks where the 6- to 7-foot tiger shark nipped him with its razor-sharp teeth before disappearing into the deep.
"He was very lucky, that's for sure," said Randy Honebrink of the state's Shark Task Force. "Usually tigers would be expected to do a little more damage than that."
Honebrink said an average of three to four shark "incidents" occur every year in Hawai'i.
The most recent shark attack occurred last March, when a suspected reef shark bit a bodyboarder's hand at Sandy Beach on O'ahu. In 2000, two nonfatal attacks reported off Maui were blamed on tiger sharks.
Holmes is the first to acknowledge his good fortune in suffering only minor injuries from Tuesday's attack.
"I couldn't feel luckier," he said yesterday from his hospital bed at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
A certified scuba diver, Holmes said he has made more than 100 dives off Southern California and Kaua'i and had never once even seen a shark.
Turtles in area
On Tuesday, the conditions were clear and the ocean calm when Holmes and girlfriend, Monica Boggs, 29, entered the water around 12:30 p.m. at a popular snorkeling spot off Olowalu near Lahaina. They swam out about 100 yards in water that was 40 feet deep.
"We saw a big group of 12 to 15 turtles. It was amazing," Holmes said. "We were just watching them for about 10 minutes when Monica spotted the shark about 25 feet away and grabbed my hand."
Boggs said the shark sped straight toward them with a clear purpose.
"It was swimming right at us at an alarming speed. It didn't look curious — it looked like it knew what it wanted. I thought we were going to die," she said.
Holmes said they popped their heads out of the water and started to back away from the approaching animal.
"I put my mask back in the water to see where he was and he was around four feet away. I saw his open mouth and teeth, and a very big head," he said.
Holmes curled into a ball to protect his limbs, and the shark latched onto his buttocks then quickly released. Before the shark swam off, Holmes managed to punch its snout as it lingered near the surface.
"I saw Tommy fighting a little bit and it scared me to death," Boggs said. "It all happened very fast."
"I'm very grateful we saw it coming. We were kind of able to prepare."
On the frantic swim back to shore, Boggs turned to get a look at Holmes' wounds and saw that his shorts were in tatters and there was blood in the water. It wasn't until they reached the beach that they realized he had escaped serious injury.
Holmes said he didn't feel any pain when the shark bit him, only a stinging sensation as he began to swim back to the beach.
"We were quite happy once we were on the shoreline," he said. "We were both ecstatic. I had all my limbs, and we knew it was in the butt and that we had gotten off easy. I'm a lucky guy."
'It was absolutely terrifying'
Holmes said he received more than 50 stitches to close the half-moon bite wounds. As a singer, songwriter and guitarist for a rock 'n' roll band in L.A., Holmes said he "loves telling stories" in between numbers and was hoping to get more publicity for his music — but this isn't quite the kind of story and publicity he would've preferred.
Although obviously joyful at surviving their shark encounter, both Holmes and Boggs remain shaken by the event.
"It was absolutely terrifying," Boggs said. "You don't feel that kind of feeling, ever. You can never know what it's like unless you go through it.
"I figure if I can take that, then I'm pretty set."
Like Holmes, Boggs enjoys water sports and ocean swimming. Both said the shark attack wouldn't keep them out of the water, although they might stay a little closer to shore.
"I'll be a little bit more aware of how far out I go," Holmes said. "It's not until you get out there that you realize you have to swim back in."
Boggs, a visual arts teacher and professional singer, finds some security in figuring the odds are with them. "How could that happen twice?" she said.
Snorkelers who ventured into the water at Olowalu yesterday also were counting on the rarity of shark attacks. Most, like Joe and Liza Eto of Oakland, Calif., were unaware of Tuesday's incident until they noticed the shark-sighting signs posted at the beach by the state Division of Aquatic Resources. The signs were removed at 11:15 a.m. yesterday after a county lifeguard used a personal watercraft to inspect the snorkeling area.
The Etos, who were snorkeling with their children, Ben, 12, and Georgia, 8, were unperturbed by the threat of an ocean predator.
"We came all this way and we rented all this dang equipment, and we're not going to go in now?" said Liza Eto as she squeezed anti-fog drops into her mask.
Dive instructor Jeff Tanonaka has been taking dive groups off Olowalu for years, and he said he has never had trouble with sharks there. He said he often sees black-tip sharks and other reef sharks, but they generally are not aggressive unless harassed.
Attack happened at midday
Honebrink said Holmes' description of the shark, in particular its large head, leads him to believe it was a tiger shark.
"This is not unusual as far as the types of thing that happen in Hawai'i with shark bites," he said. "Most of the time when people are bitten, it's usually a tiger shark."
In this case, "it doesn't surprise me that there are sharks in an area where there's a bunch of turtles."
While experts warn of a higher shark-attack risk if swimming in dark, murky waters or early or late in the day, Tuesday's incident happened at midday in clear, calm conditions.
"The guy wasn't doing anything wrong," Honebrink said. "What this incident does is remind people that sharks are out there and we have to be careful. It's part of going into the ocean. We're entering their environment, and they're the boss."
Two other shark attacks have been reported off Olowalu in the past 10 years, both occurring a bit north of the spot where Holmes was injured.
On Oct. 18, 2000, Henrietta Musselwhite, 56, of Geyserville, Calif., was bitten on her upper and lower back while snorkeling a half-mile offshore. On Nov. 26, 1991, swimmer Martha Joy Morrell, 41, of Maui, was mauled by a tiger shark. Her death triggered a state-sanctioned shark hunt and the formation of the Shark Task Force.
Honebrink said officials are not ready to declare Olowalu a shark zone, but "we're certainly paying attention to that right now, with three incidents in the past 10 years."
Great white snacks on rubber
The force of the shark's bite destroyed and sank one half of the boat just off Sovereign Beach at the southern end of Moreton Island, northeast of Brisbane.
"I've seen thresher sharks throw themselves out of the water and do full twists in the air," said Mr George, a sport fisherman from Chelmer in Brisbane's west.
"I've seen sharks herd up pilchards on to the shore and just cut them up . . . but nothing like what this thing did.
"The whole side of my boat exploded and the shark was pushing the boat back in towards the beach. It blew up and that just wrecked my day."
Mr George said many things went through his head, but he had no plan of attack.
"He finished having a bit of a chomp on the boat and kicked his tail up in the air and disappeared, then the boat started sinking and I didn't know what was going to happen next," he said.
"There was no way to know if it was going to come back."
Mr George said that at first he thought it was a tiger shark, but a ranger told him the bite marks were more likely to be from an elderly great white which may have travelled by habit into the area, which once housed a whaling station.
"Every now and then I'd stop and look around, then I'd give myself enough time to have a paddle and enough time for a shark to come in, then I'd have another look," Mr George said.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service officers said they spotted Mr George from the island and when he got close used rope to help drag him in.
But Mr George became wedged on a sandbank and had to carry his vessel out. He has deep tissue damage in his back and has been unable to work since the attack.
University of Queensland shark researcher Michael Bennett said little was known about the great white in the "northern extent" of their travels.
But Dr Bennett said there were recent reports of a lone individual prowling the Moreton Bay region.
"The motto is don't go out in your rubber duckie," Dr Bennett said. "I expect it might well have been a great white. There have been anecdotal reports recently of one in the bay."
Shark bites surfer along Volusia County coastSep.19..2001 Florida
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- As Tropical Storm Gabrielle steams toward Bermuda, she leaves in her wake Volusia County's 21st shark bite victim this year.
Blaise Mosler, a 14-year-old surfer from Longwood, was bitten on the left ankle about 3 p.m. Tuesday near the 2800 block of North Atlantic Avenue, just a mile south of Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Beach officials said the murky waters and the high surf caused by the storm passing through over the weekend are the cause for Tuesday's incident.
"It's very typical of the bites we have been seeing in the inlet," said Joe Wooden, deputy chief of the Volusia County Beach Patrol.
Mosler, who was paddling out to the surf break when he was bitten, was treated at the scene for a 1- to 2-inch cut on his right foot, Wooden said. He was not transported to a local hospital and he told officials he would likely go to an emergency facility near his home.
"We are being cautious and are doing flyovers," Wooden said. "We want to see how murky the waters are, how much baitfish there are in the area and the number of sharks."
A 4 p.m. helicopter check by the county's Beach Services department and the Sheriff's Office did not spot any sharks, Wooden said. However, he said people should be aware of the potential for shark encounters because of the large number of bait fish along the shoreline and the inability of the shark to see its prey because of poor water clarity.
In mid-August, the Beach Patrol treated 10 people for shark bites in a 10-day period, creating a media frenzy and prompting the Beach Patrol to keep a stretch of surf just south of the inlet off limits to swimmers and surfers for more than a week.
So far this year, 31 shark bites have been recorded in Florida, 21 in Volusia County, according to George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Worldwide, the shark file shows there have been 54 attacks this year, 43 in the United States.
Burgess said the good surf increased the number of surfers in the ocean and, with the water as murky as it is, it was an accident waiting to happen.
"It's a juicy situation for the surfers because of the turbulent waves caused by the storm. But, there is also the regular number of sharks out there," he said Tuesday. "We are seeing the results."
An angler who hooked a shark and hauled it into his boat was bitten on
his legs and hand after they both fell into the water.
Six people were bit by sharks off New Smyrna Beach over the weekend
"Volusia County is perhaps the shark attack capital of the world,'' said Samuel H. Gruber, a professor of marine biology at the University of Miami.
Six people were bit by sharks off New Smyrna Beach over the weekend, raising to 15 the total of shark attacks along more than 50 miles of Volusia County's popular beaches this year, according to University of Florida shark expert George Burgess.
Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack Files in Gainesville, said 29 of this year's shark attacks have been in the United States.
Lifeguards today temporarily closed a quarter mile stretch of New Smyrna Beach for a second day in a row after a shark was spotted swimming in the surf. But surfers, lifeguards and shark experts were quick to point out that the shark encounters are nothing new. Surfers and kayakers regularly see them in the surf. And last Easter weekend, there were seven shark attacks here over a two-day period.
"They're always there. You just have to be careful and know what's around,'' said surfer Leonardo Pedreros, 18.
A combination of murky water, caused by recent heavy rains pouring silt into the water, and an unusually crowded beach due to a surfing contest, may have caused the sharks to mistake humans for fish.
"When the water is clean, there is no problem because the sharks can see,'' said Dan Jacocks, 44, who kayaks every morning off New Smyrna Beach, about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach.
New Smyrna Beach and adjoining Ponce Inlet hold a diverse population of bait fish that attracts the sharks and may explain why the area leads the world in shark attacks, Burgess said.
"It's a smorgasbord of food coming back and forth,'' he said.
Jaison Valentin should know. A shark mistook his left hand for food Saturday while he was surfing off New Smyrna Beach. The shark left a 2-inch gash on the backside of his hand, requiring surgery to repair torn tendons and ligaments.
"It took a nice big chunk out of my hand,'' said Valentin, who said he plans to return to surfing once his hand is healed. "I knew to get the hell out of the water.''
Another victim, 17-year-old Beacky Chapman underwent surgery at Bert Fish Hospital but was in good condition Monday. Hospital spokeswoman Kate Holcomb said Chapman was to be released later in the day.
Sharks also have been on the attack this month in the Bahamas, where two Americans were bitten in the leg. Both are recovering at a Miami hospital, one after having his leg amputated.
An 8-year-old boy was attacked by a bull shark in July in Pensacola, on Florida's Gulf Coast. Jessie Arbogast's arm was severed and he lost nearly all his blood. The arm was reattached but Jessie remains in a light coma.
Last year, there were 79 shark attacks worldwide, 51 in the United States, 34 in Florida and 12 in Volusia County, Burgess said. Volusia County currently is on pace to surpass its record for shark attacks (18) set in 1996.
Surfer Sean Nolan saw one advantage to the shark attacks. "It thins the line,'' said Nolan, 24, a student. "Usually it is so crowded. Maybe this will keep people away.''
Sharks attack three more surfers off Volusia County beaches
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Sharks 6: Surfers 0.
According to Volusia County Beach Patrol officials, two of Sunday's attacks occurred in the same area as Saturday's incidents, about a half-mile south of Ponce de Leon Inlet. The third took place in Wilbur-by-the-Sea, near the 4000 block of South Atlantic Avenue, at about 10 a.m.
That victim, a 17-year-old female surfer, was bitten on the left foot, according to Deputy Chief Joe Wooden. Her name was not released because Beach Patrol officials were unable to contact her parents, Wooden said.
The teen was treated at the scene by lifeguards and then transported to Halifax Medical Center where she was treated and released, Wooden said.
About three hours later, lifeguards south of the inlet were notified two surfers had been bitten within a minute of each other at about 1:15 p.m.
According to Capt. Dave Williams, Becky Chapman, 17, of Winter Park and Bobby Kurrek, 32, of New Smyrna Beach, were surfing about a half-mile apart when they were attacked.
He said Chapman was in about chest-deep water and was getting back on her board after a ride when a shark grabbed her left leg.
"It bit her through her left calf muscle, severing two tendons," said Chapman's father, Ted, while waiting outside Bert Fish Medical Center. "They said it was a 6- to 7-foot black tip shark."
He said Becky reached down and touched the shark. When she realized what it was, she started punching the fish in an effort to get it to let go, Ted Chapman said. Becky was helped to shore by a friend and then transported to the hospital.
Becky underwent surgery late Sunday afternoon to repair the damage to her leg. She was listed in good condition.
"The doctors said she is going to be OK," Ted Chapman said.
He said Becky has been surfing for about two years, mostly in the New Smyrna Beach area, and this was not her first encounter with a shark.
"She was brushed by one over the July 4 weekend," he said.
Ted Chapman added he does not believe the encounter will stop his daughter from wanting to surf, but her mother may have other ideas.
"I think she is going to cut up Becky's surfboards and put them in the fireplace," he said.
Kurrek said his encounter marked the first time he was truly scared while surfing.
He had been surfing for about two hours near the south jetty and was headed to shore when he found himself surrounded by sharks.
"I looked right and saw four or five. I looked left and saw six or seven," Kurrek said. "I was only in about two or three feet of water, 50 yards from shore."
He said two of the animals came racing toward him when one "jetted underneath me," bumping his surfboard. It then turned around and grabbed Kurrek's right foot in its mouth.
"It yanked me off my stick," he said. "My whole foot was in its mouth."
The shark quickly released Kurrek and he was able to get to shore. He walked to a nearby lifeguard for treatment of several cuts to the top and bottom of the foot before going to Bert Fish Medical Center where he was treated and released Sunday afternoon.
Kurrek said he has seen several smaller sharks while surfing New Smyrna Beach waters over the past dozen years, but Sunday's fish were much larger.
"They were 4 or 5 feet long, gray on the top and white on the bottom," he said.
After the attacks on Kurrek and Chapman, the Beach Patrol closed about a mile of the beach from the inlet south. It remained closed for the rest of the day.
Williams and Wooden said the Beach Patrol decided Sunday morning to open beaches to swimming and surfing despite Saturday's attacks, but they took extra precautions. That included asking the National Scholastic Surfing Association surf contest to relocate farther away from the inlet in an effort to prevent activity in the waters from stirring up shark activity, Wooden said.
Two of the three surfers injured Saturday were participating in that contest. One, Jason Valentine of New Smyrna Beach, remained in Bert Fish Medical Center Sunday after surgery to repair damage from a shark bite to his hand. He was listed in good condition and expected to be released early this morning, according to a hospital spokesperson. The other victims, Jeff White, 20, and Dylan Feindt, 19, both of New Smyrna Beach, were released from BFMC late Saturday after treatment for wounds to the feet and ankles.
In addition to moving the surf contest, Wooden said the Beach Patrol had a boat and a power-ski out looking for sharks near the inlet. If any had been spotted, the beach would have been closed immediately, he said. "They didn't report seeing anything until just after the attacks," Wooden said.
Sunday's attacks bring the total for Volusia County this year to 17. That is one shy of the 1996 record of 18, Wooden said. And it represents almost half the 37 incidents reported worldwide this year.
"But you have to put that in perspective," he said. "Australia has only had three shark attacks, but they were all fatal. We have never had a fatality off Volusia beaches."
3 rd news alert
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The "World's Safest Bathing Beach" wasn't for three surfers Saturday as shark bites sent them to an area hospital.
According to Deputy Chief Joe Wooden of the Volusia County Beach Patrol, all of the attacks occurred nearly a mile south of the Ponce de Leon Inlet's south jetty between 10 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
"We saw sharks all morning long," said Leon Johnston, director for the North Central Florida Conference of the National Scholastic Surf Association, host of the surf contest being held in the bite zone. "There were bull sharks 7 to 8 feet long and 6-foot blacktips.
He said smaller sharks also were seen within 2 to 3 feet of shore, causing contestants to run around or jump over them as they headed out to their heats.
Two of those bitten Saturday, Jeff White, 20, and Dylan Feindt, 19, both of New Smyrna Beach, were contestants in the event, said Johnston. The third victim, Jason Valentine, 20, also of New Smyrna Beach, was apparently free surfing near the contest area, he said.
The attacks didn't seem to faze other surfers.
Pete Frederiksen, 25, of Largo, said he was next to one of the victims when the attack occurred.
"I saw him lift up his foot and say 'Darn, I just got bit by a shark,' " Frederiksen recalled. "There were about five or six cuts on his foot."
He said he kept surfing until Beach Patrol officers closed about a mile of beach to bathers and surfers after White's attack. The beach remained closed from about 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to Capt. Rob Horster.
With the closure, Johnston said his group moved their event south to the Beachway Avenue beach approach and continued the contest.
"Every local knows the inlet is a nursery for sharks," he said. "But they were a lot more aggressive today than I have seen in the 30 years I have lived here."
The first bite was reported about 10 a.m. when Feindt came up to the contest tent with cuts on his left foot. He was treated at the scene by an off-duty Beach Patrol officer and went to Bert Fish Medical Center by personal vehicle.
Shortly after noon, Valentine was bitten across the back of his left hand. While Beach Patrol lifeguards were treating him, about 30 minutes later, White reported suffering a bite on his right foot, said Wooden.
Halifax/Fish Community Healthspokesman Kate Holcomb said Valentine underwent surgery to repair the damage to his hand Saturday afternoon and was expected to be admitted to the hospital overnight. He was listed in good condition. The other two men were treated in the emergency room and released.
Johnston said he warned contestants to be wary of the sharks, but decided not to shut down.
"(Sharks) are in the water and we are in the water. We just hope we don't run into each other," he said Saturday afternoon. "We will be back at the inlet in the morning."
Wooden said he believes the sharks were drawn to the area by large concentrations of baitfish near the inlet. When that was added to the murky water along shore Saturday and a large number of people surfing, it was a "bad combination," he said.
The attacks drew national media attention, Wooden said.
"It has been media day at the beach," he said.
The attacks bring the number of shark bites reported in Volusia County for the year to 14, none life-threatening. Last year, 12 bites were recorded.
|Wedding anniversary man fought off shark during attack|
A Wall Street banker beat off a shark as it attacked him before swimming back to shore using only one leg.
Before Krishna Thompson passed out on the Bahamian beach, he wrote his hotel room number in the sand so that he could be identified.
Mr Thompson, who is now at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, after having his left leg amputated just below the knee, was on a wedding anniversary holiday.
He had been swimming alone when the shark attacked him off the coast of Freeport, Grand Bahama.
His wife of 10 years Ave Maria Thompson said: "He kept punching and punching. He has cuts on his hands because of that. He is so brave. To fight off a shark and then think to do that."
July 16, 2001 Posted: 12:09 PM EDT (1609 GMT)
PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) -- A man is in good condition Monday after undergoing surgery for what he described as a shark bite that happened off Florida, just miles from where a young boy was nearly killed in a separate shark attack.
Michael Waters, 48, was surfing when he was bitten Sunday, he said. Waters is expected to be released later Monday, the hospital said.
Another man was treated and released, after being hurt in another shark encounter Sunday off Florida's east coast.
Waters said he was bitten in the waters off the coast of the Florida Panhandle, near Pensacola, about 2:30 p.m., just miles from where a shark bit off 8-year-old Jessie Arbogast's arm and tore into his leg, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office reported.
"From what the doctors say, it's consistent with a shark bite," Lt. Bob Clark of the Escambia County Sheriff's Office said Monday.
Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola could not confirm that it was a shark bite, until officials spoke to the doctors, hospital spokesman Mike Burke said. Waters had surgery on his foot and heel Sunday to repair blood vessels, Burke explained.
The Pensacola News-Journal quoted the man's daughter-in-law, Claressa Selva, 20, as saying the shark was drawn to shore by a shore fisherman who was throwing out bait in the swimming area.
Clark could not confirm that report, saying he believes the shark -- like many others -- was drawn to the area by pods of "bait fish" or smaller fish, feeding in the area.
Selva told the Pensacola News-Journal that the shark bit Waters' ankle and pulled him under the water.
"Thank God he knew how to react. He just started hitting the shark with his surfboard," she said. "We're all still in shock right now, it hasn't quite hit us. We saw everything that happened to that poor little boy, and we just never thought that was something that could happen to our family."
At the same time, an 18-year-old man using a boogie board off Fernandina Beach on Florida's east coast, near the Georgia state line, suffered "small-to-moderate lacerations" to his right foot when a shark swam past, said Capt. John Hailey, of Nassau County Fire Rescue.
"He said he saw an object about three feet long roll and splash, and then his foot started hurting," Hailey said. The man, whose name was not released, identified the object as a shark.
Officials believe the shark's mouth was open and the teeth dragged across the man's leg, Hailey said.
The 18-year-old, who was vacationing with his parents from Cincinnati, Ohio, was taken by ambulance to Shands-Jacksonville Hospital. A spokeswoman there said he was treated and released.
In Escambia County, Waters told authorities he was paddling his board about 100 yards from shore to catch a wave, his left leg dangling in the water. He said he saw a school of small fish and a "dark shadow" just before his ankle was bitten.
He paddled back to shore where he called out for help. He was then taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital.
Authorities estimated Sunday's incident happened about six to eight miles from the area Jessie was attacked. The boy was wading in knee-deep water at the Gulf Islands National Seashore on July 6 when he was mauled by a 7-foot bull shark, which tore off his arm and bit a large portion of his thigh.
Jessie was in critical but stable condition Sunday at Sacred Heart Children's Hospital after his arm was reattached at Baptist Hospital, also in Pensacola, a statement said.
Despite the proximity of the incidents, Clark said authorities had no plans to issue official warnings about sharks in the water.
"There are sharks all over, up and down the whole entire Gulf Coast," Clark said. "How do you warn someone that there are sharks out there all the time anyway?"
Clark said swimmers and surfers must be aware that sharks tend to swim in the waters, sometimes very close to shore.
He said Sunday's incident highlights some danger signs: The surfer was in murky water, and he was swimming near a school of bait fish, a primary source of food for sharks.
"If you do encounter that, it would be wise probably to swim elsewhere," Clark said. "Just be mindful of your and their environment."
A lifeguard stands over the Bull shark that attacked an 8-year-old boy on Friday.
July.7.2001 , Pensacola Florida PENSACOLA, Florida (CNN) -- Doctors successfully reattached the right arm of an 8-year-old boy Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman said, a day after a shark attack was halted by the boy's uncle, who wrestled the shark to the shore to retrieve the arm.
The boy was listed in critical condition Saturday.
He was attacked by a Bull shark Friday around 8 p.m. while swimming off the coast of the Florida Panhandle, according to Ranger John Bandursky of the Gulf Island National Seashore Park.
After the boy's uncle wrestled the shark onshore, Bandursky said, a park ranger then shot the shark three times in order to loosen its jaws and retrieve the boy's right arm, which was still inside the shark's mouth. The shark was killed and emergency medical technicians, who had arrived by that time, were able to recover the boy's arm.
Doctors at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola worked to reattach his arm during surgery that lasted about 12 hours, hospital spokeswoman Pam Bilbrey said.
June 27.2001 Catalina , Ca
The horrifying image won't go away. Bill McNair sees it at night in his sleep: a great white shark charging from the depths, its mouth agape, threatening to bite him in half.
"As soon as I go to sleep, I see that mouth," the Huntington Beach podiatrist said. "And then I wake up. I slept maybe 10 hours total in the first week since it happened."
The nightmares were spawned on the morning of June 10 when McNair, 52, was spear-fishing in 70 feet of water on the unpopulated windward side of Santa Catalina Island. He dived to about 15 feet and took aim downward at a small yellowtail when he saw the shark, an estimated 10-footer with a girth of nearly four feet, rising through the wavering haze.
McNair said he remembers vividly seeing first a patch of gray, then two large eyes, "their black pupils focusing right on me," and then a mouth "with row after row of crooked teeth . . . and this face coming up at me with the speed of a freight train."
His powerful gun already aimed in the direction of the shark, he pulled the trigger, dropped his weapon and kicked frantically to the surface, glancing over his shoulder once and seeing a silhouette of the predator, turning sideways, with half of a six-foot spear protruding from its snout.
"His heart was ready to jump out of his chest," said his diving partner, Lyle Miller of Seal Beach, who plucked McNair to safety aboard McNair's 38-foot boat. Miller did not did see the shark and neither reported the incident to island officials.
While authorities say they believe there is no reason for public alarm, McNair and Miller--veteran breath-hold, or "freedivers"--expressed concern about what they perceive to be an increasingly visible presence of white sharks around Catalina's shores.
It was McNair's second sighting of a great white in two years, he said, the other taking place on the lee side of the island near Ship Rock, just beyond Isthmus Cove.
Reports of other sightings have been swirling around the island and throughout the diving community for months.
One of them, during the spring, involved a large white shark swimming around a glass-bottom boat as it was moored near the beach in Avalon Harbor. In a separate incident at about the same time, the wife of a freediver allegedly saw a large white shark circling their vessel in the Parsons Landing area near the isthmus as her husband swam back to their boat. She waved her husband off, and he made it safely to shore.
"All I hear are the stories. I've never seen one in my life," said Bob Kennedy, owner of Scuba Luv in Avalon. "I've heard of them and have actually gone seeking them, but haven't had the privilege yet."
Island officials, meanwhile, said last week that they were unaware of the sighting in Avalon Harbor.
"I can't rule it out, but haven't had it reported to me," Avalon City Manager Rob Clark said.
He and other officials were quick to point out that while several species of sharks--including great whites--do visit the island, areas frequented by most tourists have never been closed because of shark sightings and there has never been a documented attack on a human anywhere near the island.
If there were large sharks entering tourist areas, "The first thing we'd want to do is put the word out because public welfare is involved," said Brian Bray, harbor master at Avalon. "[Hushing such news] is not our game."
Shark experts declined to speculate as to whether Catalina is being visited by more white sharks than in years past.
"White sharks have been residents there seasonally throughout history, long before Wrigley even arrived," said John McCosker, a marine biologist at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. "They visit all the offshore islands, particularly those that have large colonies of sea mammals."
Catalina does not support a colony of elephant seals (the favorite prey of adult great whites), but it is home to much smaller harbor seals and a growing population of California sea lions, both of which also are on the menu of earth's most notorious predator.
While it is unknown how well white sharks have responded to state protection from fishermen and the removal of coastal gill-nets (both in the early 1990s) that killed an undetermined amount of young sharks every year, it is known that the sea lion population in California has boomed from a low of about 10,000 to more than 200,000 since the enactment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act in 1972.
If, in fact, more white sharks are being seen, another possible factor could be the simple call of nature. In late spring and summer, pregnant adult white sharks swim up submarine canyons to give birth in near-shore areas of all of the Channel Islands, and even along the Southland coast.
At Catalina, their timing coincides with the arrival of tourist season at an island playground only 21 miles from the bustling mainland. Catalina receives more than one million tourists each year, many of them engaging in various water sports activities.
Experts say there is little to fear, in most cases. Sharks in general are not cold-blooded killers with vengeful nature and taste for human flesh.
"I would be more fearful of my child going to school and being hit by a bullet during a drive-by shooting," said Ralph Collier, who does research on shark attacks as president of the Shark Research Committee in Canoga Park.
In 100 years along the West Coast from Mexico to Alaska, there have been 108 confirmed unprovoked attacks by sharks on humans, mostly divers and surfers, he said.
"Humans just don't do it for them," said Peter Klimley, a scientist and at the Bodega Marine Laboratory in Bodega Bay. "They feed on seals, not humans, so when you get an attack on a human it starts like an attack on a seal, but very often the shark lets go."
White sharks prey primarily on rays and bottom fishes until they reach a length of 10 to 12 feet. After that, they feed almost exclusively on pinnipeds. Since elephant seals give them more blubber for their bite, they are the preferred target.
Typically, white sharks rely on stealth and camouflage, sneaking along and blending into rocky bottoms, striking their unsuspecting prey at or near the surface.
The majority of attacks on humans have occurred on divers and surfers at or near the surface. Opinions vary as to whether all attacks are cases of mistaken identity, but it is widely believed that some are.
The safest areas for tourists are sandy bottoms, away from dense populations of pinnipeds. Catalina has plenty of these, including the popular marine park west of Avalon and numerous beaches along the bustling lee shore of the island.
It also has areas casual swimmers and snorkelers might want to avoid, such as the Salta Verde Point on the backside, where McNair said his encounter took place. Other areas where alleged sightings have taken place are near Ben Weston Beach and in Little and Shark Harbors on the backside.
One area many divers avoid altogether is the extreme west end of the island.
"They've been there for a couple years, big-time," said Barry Andersen, a renowned shark fisherman and avid diver. "I know that during lobster season two guys were chased out of there [by sharks]. It's a great place for bugs, but no lobster is worth that."
June 19.2001 South Padre Island, Texas
SAN ANTONIO -- A 14-year-old boy who was bitten by a shark while swimming in the Gulf of Mexico is recovering, but his father is warning others to be careful.
Ed Black said he and his wife, nephew and 14-year-old son, Jared Black, were on a beach south of Corpus Christi when his son was attacked while swimming in waist-deep water.
"What scares me is that there were other people there swimming that day, and they had little kids," Black said.
The attack occurred June 12, about 10 miles south of Malaquite Beach along the Padre Island National Seashore.
"He never saw the shark," Black told the San Antonio Express-News in San Antonio. "There was just a big bite and blood all over the place."
A park ranger who saw the wound said it was from a bull shark or blacktip shark measuring at least 5 feet long, Black said.
The teen-ager was taken to Bay Area Hospital in Corpus Christi, where he received 10 stitches. He has recovered from his wound without an infection, his father said.
A nursing supervisor at the hospital said today no other information was available.
On May 29, a shark bit a 16-year-old boy swimming about 50 yards off Galveston Island. That attack was the island's third reported shark bite in 20 years.
June. 10.2001 Austral
|Families wait for news after man's head and limbs found inside shark|
A man's head and limbs have been found inside a tiger shark caught off Australia's coast.
The families of two men missing at sea are waiting for post mortem results to discover if the victim is their loved one.
Arthur Applet, aged 75, and Ross Symens both went missing close to where the shark was caught.
Scott Wilson and Mark Thompson caught the 12 foot long fish off Lord Howe Island, 440 miles north east of Sydney.
It was only when the sliced the fish open they made the grim discovery.
A police spokesman said: "There are two possibilities.But we are not speculating in any way shape or form until it can be confirmed by post mortem."
This is the latest shark attack off Australia's coast. Four months ago Mark Butler, 40, had his leg savaged by a great white shark as he surfed off the New South Wales Coast.
And 38-year-old diver Chris Hogan nearly lost an arm when he was attacked by a bronze whaler shark off the Great Barrier Reef in December.
Boy's wound could be shark bite
An 11-year-old boy vacationing on Hilton Head Island received
37 stitches Monday morning after what he says he believes to be a shark bit his
This comes a day after a North Carolina man was attacked by a
shark in waist-deep water off Fripp Island. In that attack, the victim suffered
a gash measuring 13.5 centimeters (5.5 inches). While a Lowcountry Medical Group
surgeon confirmed the Sunday incident was a shark bite, officials were not sure
about the boy's injury.
Tripp Choate of Clyde, N.C., said he and his father, Hamp
Choate, were swimming off Coligny Beach in water about 4 1/2 feet deep when he
felt something tug at his leg and swim away.
"It didn't really feel like a bite," Tripp said
Tuesday. "It hit me and went away."
Michelle Choate, Tripp's mother, said she saw blood pouring
from Tripp's left leg. The encounter left five or six gashes more than 2 inches
in diameter on his shin.
"The minute I saw him, I said, ŒOh my God,' "
Michelle Choate said. "It was bleeding bad and cut open."
Hamp Choate said he rushed his son to Urgent Care, where a
doctor and three emergency medical technicians said Tripp's wounds "looked
like they came from a juvenile shark about 4 1/2 to 5 feet long."
Kelly Presnell, spokeswoman for Hilton Head Medical Center and
Clinics, said there is no definitive evidence the injury came from a shark.
Ralph Wagner, director of Shore Beach Services, also could not
comment. He said beach personnel were not involved.
He said Shore Beach Services is not "flying caution
flags" because of the recent ocean incidents.
Wagner said shark attacks are rare in Lowcountry waters. He
recalled the last attack on Hilton Head occurred in 1994, when a Gaithersburg,
Md., woman was bitten on the right side of her body by a fish with a bite radius
of 18 inches while swimming at North Forest Beach.
"There are sharks in the waters every day," Wagner
said. "But it's an accident when a shark bites. It's not like they're there
looking for someone."
He said in the event of a shark attack, lifeguards apply basic
first aid or call emergency medical professional, depending on the severity of
the attack. Swimmers are evacuated from the ocean only when lifeguards spot
dorsal fins in the waters.
Town of Hilton Head Island Mayor Tom Peeples said he would not
recommend any warning signs on the beach alerting swimmers of sharks.
"The possibility (of shark attacks) always exists,"
Peeples said. "But there's no reason to overreact. If you look at the law
of averages, you're a whole lot safer standing in the surf than driving a car
... It's not like we have Jaws skirting up and down the surf."
In fact, shark attacks are rare, according to the University
of Florida's International Shark Attack Database. Thirty-six attacks have been
recorded in South Carolina since the late 1800s; three were fatal.
Jennie Davis, a spokeswoman with the Department of Natural
Resources, said during the summer there is an influx of sharks searching for
Davis said there are at least 18 species of sharks that live
in the state's coastal waters, including lemon, tiger, hammerhead, black nose,
sandbar and spinner shark.
"Attacks usually occur in the surf and result in minor
injuries," she said. "... Given the fact that we have more sharks in
our coastal waters and so many people here, you would expect even more
Although the likelihood of a shark attack is rare, Davis said,
"We advise people to use common sense - don't swim at night when sharks'
feeding activities are increased, and be sure to never swim alone."
Tripp said he's not in a lot of pain, but he's disappointed
the stitches prevent him from swimming - in the pool - at the tail end of his
vacation on Hilton Head.
"I think I will go out in the ocean again, just no that
far out," he said.
An 11-year-old boy vacationing on Hilton Head Island received 37 stitches Monday morning after what he says he believes to be a shark bit his leg.
This comes a day after a North Carolina man was attacked by a shark in waist-deep water off Fripp Island. In that attack, the victim suffered a gash measuring 13.5 centimeters (5.5 inches). While a Lowcountry Medical Group surgeon confirmed the Sunday incident was a shark bite, officials were not sure about the boy's injury.
Tripp Choate of Clyde, N.C., said he and his father, Hamp Choate, were swimming off Coligny Beach in water about 4 1/2 feet deep when he felt something tug at his leg and swim away.
"It didn't really feel like a bite," Tripp said Tuesday. "It hit me and went away."
Michelle Choate, Tripp's mother, said she saw blood pouring from Tripp's left leg. The encounter left five or six gashes more than 2 inches in diameter on his shin.
"The minute I saw him, I said, ŒOh my God,' " Michelle Choate said. "It was bleeding bad and cut open."
Hamp Choate said he rushed his son to Urgent Care, where a doctor and three emergency medical technicians said Tripp's wounds "looked like they came from a juvenile shark about 4 1/2 to 5 feet long."
Kelly Presnell, spokeswoman for Hilton Head Medical Center and Clinics, said there is no definitive evidence the injury came from a shark.
Ralph Wagner, director of Shore Beach Services, also could not comment. He said beach personnel were not involved.
He said Shore Beach Services is not "flying caution flags" because of the recent ocean incidents.
Wagner said shark attacks are rare in Lowcountry waters. He recalled the last attack on Hilton Head occurred in 1994, when a Gaithersburg, Md., woman was bitten on the right side of her body by a fish with a bite radius of 18 inches while swimming at North Forest Beach.
"There are sharks in the waters every day," Wagner said. "But it's an accident when a shark bites. It's not like they're there looking for someone."
He said in the event of a shark attack, lifeguards apply basic first aid or call emergency medical professional, depending on the severity of the attack. Swimmers are evacuated from the ocean only when lifeguards spot dorsal fins in the waters.
Town of Hilton Head Island Mayor Tom Peeples said he would not recommend any warning signs on the beach alerting swimmers of sharks.
"The possibility (of shark attacks) always exists," Peeples said. "But there's no reason to overreact. If you look at the law of averages, you're a whole lot safer standing in the surf than driving a car ... It's not like we have Jaws skirting up and down the surf."
In fact, shark attacks are rare, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack Database. Thirty-six attacks have been recorded in South Carolina since the late 1800s; three were fatal.
Jennie Davis, a spokeswoman with the Department of Natural Resources, said during the summer there is an influx of sharks searching for warm water.
Davis said there are at least 18 species of sharks that live in the state's coastal waters, including lemon, tiger, hammerhead, black nose, sandbar and spinner shark.
"Attacks usually occur in the surf and result in minor injuries," she said. "... Given the fact that we have more sharks in our coastal waters and so many people here, you would expect even more attacks."
Although the likelihood of a shark attack is rare, Davis said, "We advise people to use common sense - don't swim at night when sharks' feeding activities are increased, and be sure to never swim alone."
Tripp said he's not in a lot of pain, but he's disappointed the stitches prevent him from swimming - in the pool - at the tail end of his vacation on Hilton Head.
"I think I will go out in the ocean again, just no that far out," he said.
05/22/01 A man vacationing with his family on Fripp Island was
bitten by a shark Sunday shortly after he arrived to start his vacation.
Dr. Michael Heidenreich was swimming in waist deep water
off Fripp Island at about 7 p.m. Sunday with several family members when he felt
something tugging at his calf.
"There really wasn't much to it," Heidenreich
said. "It just kind of took a chomp and left. There wasn't a lot of pain.
My concern was that it took a minute or so to get out of the water and I wasn't
sure if it was coming back."
His father, Dr. Fred Heidenreich, said he was about 20 feet
away from Michael when he saw him suddenly grimace and start reaching for his
leg. At first he thought his son might have been hit by a stingray or jellyfish.
But when he saw the torn calf muscle and blood, he knew it was something worse.
The Heidenreichs are a family of physicians; Michael
Heidenreich is in his fifth year of general surgery residency at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; his brother is an orthopedic surgeon; their
father is retired.
"We were able to clean up the wound, put a compress on
it, and drive Michael to the hospital," Fred Heidenreich said. "The
people who treated him said they believed it to be a shark bite."
Dr. Robert Rhodin, an orthopedic surgeon with Lowcountry
Medical Group, treated Michael Heidenreich. Rhodin confirmed that it was a shark
bite. The wound, he said, was about 13.5 centimeters across the base of the calf
and showed scalpel-like cuts.
Rhodin said Heidenreich should recover satisfactorily from
his injuries, although it will take some time.
Heidenreich will be on crutches for at least 4-6 weeks, and
probably won't be able to drive during that time.
"I'll probably think about it pretty carefully before
I go back into the water," he said. "I wish I hadn't gone swimming
Kelly Heidenreich said she was playing in shallow water
with her two children only a few minutes before her brother-in-law was bitten.
"It's a pretty scary thing," she said. "We
had just come in right before it happened."
Chester Kowalski, Fripp's security chief, said his office
has no records, as far as he knows, of any previous attacks. He also said he had
checked other rumored shark sightings in the area but that they appeared to be
Experts said a shark attack is a rare phenomenon.
According to the University of Florida's International
Shark Attack Data Base, maintained by Dr. George Burgess, there are three major
types of unprovoked shark attacks, the most common of which are "hit and
They typically occur in shallow water, in the surf, and are
thoughtto be cases of mistaken identity during which a shark, feeding in
turbulent, murky water, bites a person instead of its normal prey.
According to the data base, some 36 attacks have been
recorded in South Carolina since the late 1800s; three were fatal. In 2000 there
was one recorded attack off the Isle of Palms; in 1999 there was an attack off
the Isle of Palms and one off Myrtle Beach.
Charles Farmer, spokesman for the S.C. Department of
Natural Resources, said at least 18 shark species live in the state's coastal
waters, including lemon, tiger, hammerhead, black nose, sandbar and spinner
Their numbers increase close to shore as the water grows
warmer, which means that the season during which the greatest number of people
and the greatest number of sharks are in the same waters is the same, Farmer
While some of South Carolina's sharks can grow to large
sizes, the occurrence of major attack in shallow coastal waters here is very
rare, officials said.
"I can't think of anything in our waters that would
make me not go swimming or diving," said Steve Vogle, S.C. State Aquarium
curator. "But certainly, it pays to take precautions."
North Carolina man bitten by shark off Fripp Island South Carolina.
Gazette staff writer
05/22/01By JAMES TATUM
A man vacationing with his family on Fripp Island was bitten by a shark Sunday shortly after he arrived to start his vacation.
Dr. Michael Heidenreich was swimming in waist deep water off Fripp Island at about 7 p.m. Sunday with several family members when he felt something tugging at his calf.
"There really wasn't much to it," Heidenreich said. "It just kind of took a chomp and left. There wasn't a lot of pain. My concern was that it took a minute or so to get out of the water and I wasn't sure if it was coming back."
His father, Dr. Fred Heidenreich, said he was about 20 feet away from Michael when he saw him suddenly grimace and start reaching for his leg. At first he thought his son might have been hit by a stingray or jellyfish. But when he saw the torn calf muscle and blood, he knew it was something worse.
The Heidenreichs are a family of physicians; Michael Heidenreich is in his fifth year of general surgery residency at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; his brother is an orthopedic surgeon; their father is retired.
"We were able to clean up the wound, put a compress on it, and drive Michael to the hospital," Fred Heidenreich said. "The people who treated him said they believed it to be a shark bite."
Dr. Robert Rhodin, an orthopedic surgeon with Lowcountry Medical Group, treated Michael Heidenreich. Rhodin confirmed that it was a shark bite. The wound, he said, was about 13.5 centimeters across the base of the calf and showed scalpel-like cuts.
Rhodin said Heidenreich should recover satisfactorily from his injuries, although it will take some time.
Heidenreich will be on crutches for at least 4-6 weeks, and probably won't be able to drive during that time.
"I'll probably think about it pretty carefully before I go back into the water," he said. "I wish I hadn't gone swimming yesterday."
Kelly Heidenreich said she was playing in shallow water with her two children only a few minutes before her brother-in-law was bitten.
"It's a pretty scary thing," she said. "We had just come in right before it happened."
Chester Kowalski, Fripp's security chief, said his office has no records, as far as he knows, of any previous attacks. He also said he had checked other rumored shark sightings in the area but that they appeared to be unfounded.
Experts said a shark attack is a rare phenomenon.
According to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack Data Base, maintained by Dr. George Burgess, there are three major types of unprovoked shark attacks, the most common of which are "hit and run" attacks.
They typically occur in shallow water, in the surf, and are thoughtto be cases of mistaken identity during which a shark, feeding in turbulent, murky water, bites a person instead of its normal prey.
According to the data base, some 36 attacks have been recorded in South Carolina since the late 1800s; three were fatal. In 2000 there was one recorded attack off the Isle of Palms; in 1999 there was an attack off the Isle of Palms and one off Myrtle Beach.
Charles Farmer, spokesman for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, said at least 18 shark species live in the state's coastal waters, including lemon, tiger, hammerhead, black nose, sandbar and spinner sharks.
Their numbers increase close to shore as the water grows warmer, which means that the season during which the greatest number of people and the greatest number of sharks are in the same waters is the same, Farmer said.
While some of South Carolina's sharks can grow to large sizes, the occurrence of major attack in shallow coastal waters here is very rare, officials said.
"I can't think of anything in our waters that would make me not go swimming or diving," said Steve Vogle, S.C. State Aquarium curator. "But certainly, it pays to take precautions."
David van Staden, 26, a South African working in New Zealand, who is on holiday in the Eastern Cape, was surfing with Natasha Bastenie when he was attacked, but escaped with 10 stitches to his leg.
Describing the attack, he said: "I first thought it was Natasha just fooling around, but suddenly I saw this thing swimming around me and I paddled as fast as I could to the shore."
Bastenie also hurried to the shore and it was only once they reached the shoreline that Van Staden realised the shark had bitten him. He was taken to hospital for stitches.
Marine services chief Willie Maritz said investigation and damage to Van Staden's surfboard indicated he had been attacked by a three-metre great white shark.
"The shark just pushed him to check whether he was something to eat," said Maritz, adding that this was the procedure in 90 percent of attacks.
Maritz warned surfers to be vigilant as the water was cool and clear and sharks were attracted by the presence of sardines.
Beaches from Gonubie to Fish River were closed after the attack but this didn't deter many surfers.
"We can't let nice waves like these go by without us surfing," said Wesley Moss. - Sapa
JACKSONVILLE BEACH -- A shark bit a surfer's foot, then came back and grabbed the foot again.
John McCall told rescue workers he was bitten after getting off his board in about five feet of water. The shark, which he said was 4 to 5 feet long, bit him on the right foot.
"It was a pretty good bite. He said he was bit twice -- bit him once and they came back again," said Ryan Vermey, who was surfing with Mcall when he was attacked about 7 p.m. Thursday.
McCall was treated at a local hospital and released.
According to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, there were 34 unprovoked shark attacks confirmed in Florida last year, out of 79 confirmed worldwide.
At least seven other shark attacks have been reported this year along Florida's Atlantic beaches.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The rash of small shark bites south of Ponce de Leon Inlet continued Friday as two surfers suffered minor injuries.
The pair join four victims bitten Thursday, although it's questionable whether one of those bites was from a shark. None was seriously injured, although a 22-year-old Orange City surfer bitten Thursday might have to undergo surgery to repair a partly severed tendon.
The sharks responsible for the nips are generally small, between 4 and 5 feet, said Dr. Bob Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.
"These are not the kinds of attacks that were made famous in 'Jaws,' " said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File in Gainesville.
"Sharks sometimes misinterpret the splashing of humans in the water as being normal prey items," Burgess said. "In most cases they realize very quickly that it's not a mullet and (let) go."
The bites are occurring as sharks swim northward along the Florida coast, he said.
"Sharks are like Yankee tourists. They come south for the winter and north for the summer," Burgess said.
According to Beach Patrol Capt. Rob Horster, 12-year-old Andrew Barron of Longwood was surfing near the 2700 block of North Atlantic Avenue about 10:50 a.m. Friday when something grabbed his right foot and ankle.
He was treated at the scene by lifeguards and then transported to Bert Fish Medical Center by ambulance. A hospital spokesman said Barron suffered an encircling wound 2 inches on top and an inch across the bottom of his foot.
The second incident occurred about 10 minutes later when Jonathan Bush, 16, Charleston, S.C., was bitten on his left foot and ankle while surfing in the same area.
He, too, was taken to Bert Fish for treatment.
"I got off my board and went into the water when something grabbed my foot, bit and then took off," he said. "I never saw it."
The teen, on spring break, said he was getting one last ride in before heading home Friday when the bite occurred.
After Bush's bite, lifeguards ordered everyone out of the water for about an hour, much to the displeasure of some surfers.
"This is stupid," said David Smith, 17, of Longwood. "If you are going to get bitten, you are going to get bitten."
Beach Patrol Capt. Dave Williams said the swimming ban was a safety measure to give the shark time to leave the area without encountering another possible victim.
Thursday, Beach Patrol officials reported four shark encounters, three near Friday's incidents and one just north of Esther Street, about two miles south of the inlet.
Beach Patrol officials responded to three of the incidents early in the day. All involved bites to the feet.
Horster said the fourth incident, which occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, was reported as an Orlando man suffering a one-inch laceration to his right foot while surfing in the 2600 block of North Atlantic Avenue. However, there is some question whether that injury was caused by a shark bite, Horster said.
Richard Spence, 38, of Orlando, drove himself to Bert Fish Medical Center and was treated and released, according to hospital spokeswoman Cathy Vaughn.
With the Easter weekend starting today, Williams said large crowds are expected on Volusia County beaches, increasing the possibility of more encounters between man and shark. However, swimmers can expect more beach closures if the predatory fish are seen in the area, but that is no guarantee another bite may not occur.
"We will keep bathers out of the water when there is a problem," Williams said. "But it will be a difficult task."
He said numerous swimmers and surfers ignore lifeguard requests to leave the water after a shark incident.
Bites often happen in conditions of breaking surf and reduced visibility, Burgess said. That's when sharks are most likely to mistake the dangling feet and hands of a surfer for a fish.
Shark bites are common just south of Ponce de Leon Inlet because it is a prime site for fish spawning and schooling, Horster said.
Williams suggested swimmers and surfers might want to give that area a wide berth, considering the recent bite history, and plan on enjoying the sand and water farther south.
Shark attacks are more common in Florida waters than anywhere else in the world, with 34 unprovoked shark attacks out of 79 worldwide last year, according to the International Shark File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Volusia County accounted for 12 of the bites, the most in the state. None of the Volusia attacks were life-threatening.
One person was killed by a shark in state waters last year. An attack Aug. 30 resulted in the death of a 69-year-old man swimming off a dock in Boca Ciega Bay near St. Petersburg. That death was Florida's first fatal shark attack since Nov. 21, 1998, when a 9-year-old boy was killed off Vero Beach in Indian River County.
Including the Boca Ciega Bay death, five people have been killed by sharks in state waters over the past 25 years.
Volusia County routinely leads the state in the number of shark bites reported, with 12 last year and nine in 1999.
No fatal attacks have ever been recorded on the beaches of Volusia County, according to the Shark File. However, in August 1981 a woman was killed three miles from Ormond Beach after the catamaran she and three friends were sailing capsized late one day. She was killed by a large shark, but her three friends swam to shore safely.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The 2001 shark bite season is off to a rousing start with as many as five encounters reported in the past week.
According to Beach Patrol officers, three people alone were bitten Thursday south of Ponce de Leon Inlet.
The first incident occurred shortly before noon when Richard Lloyd, 22, of Orange City, was surfing near the south jetty.
"I had just jumped off my board and was underwater when I felt it grab my foot," Lloyd said while being treated at Bert Fish Medical Center. "I never saw it."
The bite cut a 3-inch gash across the top of his foot and was deep enough to partly sever a tendon. Lloyd made his way to shore, where he waved down a passing Beach Patrol officer and was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
Lloyd said doctors have told him he will need surgery to repair the damage.
Despite the injury, Lloyd said his encounter will not keep him out of the water.
"Maybe I will take up shark fishing," he said.
As emergency room doctors treated Lloyd, John Fazio Jr., 12, of Deltona, rolled up to the facility shortly after 1 p.m. with bites on his left ankle and foot.
Fazio said he was body boarding in waist-deep water just north of Esther Street, about two miles from the inlet, when he felt something grab him.
The Galaxy middle schooler was able to make his way to shore and was treated by lifeguards before a friend's father brought him to the hospital.
"It could have happened to anyone," Fazio said, adding he, too, plans on going back to the beach in the future.
The third bite of the day was reported about 4:10 p.m. when Emmitt Browning, 21, of Winter Springs, was surfing near the south jetty, according to Beach Patrol Capt. Rob Horster. He said Browning was bitten on the big and pinky toes of his right foot.
"It was just a little nip," Horster said.
Browning was treated at the scene and then left in a private vehicle, the captain said.
Beach Patrol Capt. David Williams said his office had a report of a possible shark bite Wednesday.
He said Elren Thresher, 19, of New Smyrna Beach, was surfing about a quarter mile south of the inlet when something grabbed his foot. He suffered minor cuts to the heel.
Thresher was treated at the scene, but refused transport to the hospital, Williams said.
EVAC ambulance spokesman Mark O'Keefe said one of his units was also called to a reported bite in New Smyrna Beach over the weekend, but was canceled before it arrived on the scene.
"As we understand it, it was a very minor wound," O'Keefe said. "A young boy was surfing when he was bit by something. It came in to us as a shark bite."
Emergency room officials at Bert Fish said they heard rumors of the bite, but treated no such injury. Beach Patrol officials could not confirm the incident, said Horster.
Last year, 12 shark bites, none life-threatening, were reported. The first one occurred April 15.
victim tells of ordeal in surf
Africa , April 10 2001
An East London businessman, Dunstan Hogan, 46, survived an
attack by a Great White shark while he was surfing at Cape St Francis on
Hogan, who has a crescent-shaped bite wound on his thigh, buttock and hip, is in hospital in Port Elizabeth.
Speaking from hospital on Tuesday, Hogan said: "I was lying on my board about 75m from the shore. It was about 9.30am.
|'I just saw this grey mass and thrashing tail fin'|
|Bite marks indicate the shark was about 3m long|
Dolphins gather before
milling together moments before a surf store proprietor was attacked while
surfing at the mouth of a northern NSW river yesterday.
Father-of-three Richard Ellis, 40, was bitten about 10am yesterday while surfing at a spot known to locals as the "V Wall" at the Nambucca River entrance.
The shark -- believed to be a bronze whaler -- mauled his right calf, tearing through Mr Ellis's muscle, ambulance officer Paul Cue said.
Following surgery at Coffs Harbour Base Hospital yesterday afternoon, Mr Ellis's condition was listed as stable.
Mr Ellis, who runs the Coastal Curves surf shop with his wife Jenny, was surfing with two friends when the shark struck.
After catching a wave into shore, Mr Ellis's friends carried him over a hill to their van at Shelley Beach.
They tied a surfboard leg rope around his calf to minimise blood loss from the wound.
They then drove the wounded surfer about 4km to the local ambulance station, where two officers -- including Mr Cue -- treated him before rushing him to hospital.
Mr Cue, also a surfer, said despite his injury, Mr Ellis was "very calm, very collected" when he arrived at the station.
"He's quite a mellow guy and he was completely in control even though he was a bit shocked and pale," he said.
"Basically he said these things happen when you're surfing in the sharks' backyard.
"He remembers seeing a stack of dolphins out there and just at the time he was bitten he noticed they all started milling together."
Mr Cue said Mr Ellis was sitting on his board "and felt the bite and there was a wave coming so straight away he caught it and went to shore".
"His friends carried him over to Shelley Beach and brought him straight to the station."
There, Mr Cue and a
paramedic dressed Mr Ellis's wound and administered morphine for the pain.
The remains of a man have been washed up on a Brazilian beach, two days after going missing in an area known for its shark attacks.
The body is believed to be that of a 20-year-old student.
It was washed up on the Boa Viagem beach in the north-eastern Brazilian city of Recife.
"The front of the thorax and all internal organs were ripped out. The body was also missing a forearm, a part of the thigh and the face," said a local doctor.
It is not known whether the man was swimming beyond coral reefs where sharks lurk in search of food.
The state government has warned swimmers not to stray beyond the coral barrier and has banned surfing in the area since a young man lost both his hands in a shark attack in 1999.
It is the 33rd recorded shark attack and the 11th death in the area since 1992,
An Australian cricketing legend is in deep shock after his son and wife died in water within 15 minutes of each other, but 2,700 kilometres apart.
Sam Loxton's 47-year-old son Michael, bled to death after being attacked by a shark while swimming 50 metres from the shore in Fiji. His 75-year-old second wife was found lying face down in the family's pool on Australia's Gold Coast after apparently falling in after hitting her head.
Mr Loxton was a member of Sir Donald Bradman's 1948 Invincibles side and is a former Victoria MP and footballer.
Michael Loxton bled to death after being mauled by the shark which tore off his right leg and buttocks as he tried to swim ashore from his anchored boat. Injuries to his hands indicated Mr Loxton tried to fight off the shark, said Fijian medical officer Mohammed Ishaque.
"His leg had bite marks on it, too, indicating the shark took two bites, one injuring the leg and the next bite taking the entire leg and buttock off. Mr Loxton bled to death within about five minutes", he added.
Mrs Loxton had recently spent 11 days on tour with her husband and several members of the 1948 Invincibles team before cutting her trip short.
Family members who had learned of Michael Loxton's death after news of his step-mother's death, didn't tell the elderly cricketing great until later, reports the Australian Herald Sun newspaper.
"We didn't think Sam would be able to cope, losing his wife and son on the same day. It's just too horrible to imagine. We didn't want poor Sam to have a heart attack," said a family friend.
The newspaper says that Michael was planning to introduce his Fijian wife to his father for the first time. He had been living in Fiji for about 16 years.
The younger Mr Loxton's heartbroken widow, Salote Qoriniasi, 43, said: "I'm devastated. He was a very responsible man. I wish to thank Australia for producing such a fine son. His many talents have been very much appreciated by my country. His generous heart and willingness to share his talents with Fiji will be sorely missed."
Last updated: 21:49 Wednesday 13th December 2000
Man survives struggle with shark
8 2000 9:43 AM EST
Bay of Fundy encounter 'rare'
Daniel MacDonald was diving in the dark, frigid waters of the Bay of Fundy, hunting for crustaceans, when he felt a heavy thump on his side.
The veteran sea urchin diver turned to find himself face-to-face with a three-metre-long shark that immediately latched on to MacDonald's fishing bag loaded with the prickly delicacies.
For 15 panic-filled minutes, MacDonald struggled 16 meters below the surface with the angry shark that began dragging him out to sea.
"When he took off, it locked my fingers in the bag and I was bouncing off the side of the shark," MacDonald said Thursday, two days after the attack. He was returning to the wharf in Digby for another day of diving.
"He was shaking the bag and after he shook it up a couple times, he darted off."
MacDonald, 30, said the shark - about the length of a car - then opened his jaws, releasing the bag, and circled back for another attack.
"When he stopped, I laid on my back . . . and swam to shore backwards and he kept hovering around me, darting back and forth at me. I was just thinking '(Get to) shore.'"
MacDonald, who was wearing a drysuit and gloves during the Tuesday attack, said he kept the shark at bay by repeatedly hitting it with his fishing bag. It eventually swam off in the frigid water.
MacDonald, who was unharmed except for some "stiff fingers," quickly swam about 60 meters to the shore, where the captain of his boat picked him up.
"Well he was kind of scared, that's for sure," said Derrick Farstad, skipper of the fishing boat. "He took the rest of the day off."
MacDonald, who now laughs about the encounter, said he went home and told his wife about the shark but decided to get back to work the next day.
"I had the jitters but I dove for two to three hours," said MacDonald, who's been catching the spherical, spiny-shelled urchins for 10 years.
The urchins, considered a succulent delicacy, are exported to restaurants along the Eastern seaboard.
"It's like anything - you fall off a horse and you get back on. This is my living."
MacDonald telephoned a marine biologist in Halifax, who told him the shark was likely a porbeagle, a normally harmless cold-water fish common to the area that feeds on mackerel, herring and cod.
Porbeagles, also known as mackerel sharks, weigh 75 kilograms on average and grow to about 2.5 metres. They are dark blue to black with a white tip on one of their fins, a pointed snout and small, smooth-edged, narrow teeth.
Scientists say porbeagles can be dangerous to people because of their size, but have rarely been linked to attacks.
Word of MacDonald's attack spread quickly through the diving community. Several scientists and divers said they had never heard of a shark attacking a diver and that even incidents of sharks approaching divers are extremely uncommon in the region.
"Encounters are rare," said Chris Harvey-Clark, a marine biologist and veterinarian at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
"You have to go out and spend a lot of time and money to find a shark up here. They're out there, but they don't as a rule come close to shore.
"This is an unusual event."
Jason Weickert, a diver at Torpedo Rays Scuba Adventures in Bedford, said he couldn't recall any other attacks.
"It's unbelievably uncommon," said Weickert. "I have over 1,000 dives in Nova Scotia and I have yet to see a shark. That's probably the first encounter a diver has had with shark."
Farstad and MacDonald suspected the shark was attracted to the area because fishermen had just dropped lobster pots full of fresh bait nearby.
Harvey-Clark said the attack is surprising but added that divers and marine biologists have reported a number of strange occurrences in the waters off Nova Scotia in recent months.
The water temperature is getting warmer and sharks are staying north longer than usual. There have also been sightings of tropical fish, like an octopus from Florida and an electric ray normally seen around Cape Cod, Mass.
"We're seeing some pretty weird things up here," said Harvey-Clark.
Shark mauls spear fisherman near Great Barrier Reef resort
The 38-year-old man, from Coffs Harbour, underwent more than 10 hours' surgery last night following the attack near Heron Island. He had been snorkelling in shallow water with a friend when the 2.5-metre shark, thought to be a bronze whaler, attacked just after 9.30am at Sykes Reef, 10 nautical miles east of Heron Island.
The men had been watching a smaller shark in front of them when the bronze whaler struck from below, said a senior pilot with the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service, Mr Dale Bourke.
Surgeons at Gladstone Base Hospital repaired the victim's severed muscle and tendons in his left forearm and elbow. A member of the helicopter rescue team, Dr Harvey Hunt, said there were many sharks in the area but they were usually timid.
An English tourist swimming at a Heron Island beach was attacked by a shark in 1996 and was lucky to keep her arm.
Yesterday's victim was holidaying in Gladstone and was part of a spearfishing party on the charter boat MV Booby Bird.
Dr Hunt said the man had speared a fish and it appeared the shark was going for the fish when it bit his arm.
The boat's crew sent out a distress call to Gladstone Coast Guards, who relayed the message to Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.
Mr Bourke, Dr Hunt and a crewman left Rockhampton for the 60-minute flight to the boat. At the same time, Heron Island resort dispatched a nurse, Mr Matthew McMahon, and several dive masters in a speed boat.
They treated the victim and ferried him to Heron Island, where they were met by the helicopter crew almost two hours after the attack.
"The nurse from Heron did a fantastic job, but he had lost a lot of blood and looked very pale," Mr Bourke said.
Dr Hunt administered first aid and replaced lost blood while the helicopter flew to Rockhampton.
"I would be very surprised if he loses the arm," he said.
Fear of sharks may have proved fatal for abalone diver
Danny Thorpe, 47, was left clinging to an upturned boat off Ceduna last Monday when friend and fellow diver, Howard Rodd, 44, decided to swim to shore.
It was a fear of sharks that prevented Mr Thorpe from also taking to the water and while Mr Rodd survived the 14km swim to safety, it might be that the older man fell victim to a great white.
Police said tests would be conducted today on a life vest and a lunchbox washed up near Ceduna to determine if marks on the items indicated a shark attack.
The items were among 50 pieces of wreckage found so far.
"The floatation vest has been torn and it's important to know whether or not that damage was caused by a shark or if it could have been caused by tearing against a rock face or a ledge in the sea," said Chief Inspector Malcolm Schluter, the officer in charge of the west coast local service area.
"We expect the experts will be able to tell us exactly what caused the tears to the lifejacket and what took the huge chunk out of the side of the lunchbox."
Speaking last Friday, Mr Rodd said Mr Thorpe was petrified of sharks and it was that fear which prevented him leaving the upturned boat after it was hit by a freak wave.
"I stayed with him and we sat on the boat for hours and hours, but the trouble was we were blowing offshore," Mr Rodd said.
"We had a spare wetsuit in the boat but he wouldn't put it on.
"He said he'd look like a f..king seal and he wanted to leave his wet weather gear on because it was a fluorescent colour."
Mr Rodd said he also was petrified of sharks and when he started his swim he tried to paddle softly on an esky lid so as not to attract attention.
But he thought his efforts had been for nothing when he saw a fin surface next to him.
"I thought that was the end of everything, I thought I was dead," he said.
"Then I heard it breathe and I knew it was a dolphin."
Mr Rodd made it to land about noon Tuesday, but it was 3pm Wednesday before he was found by passing motorists. He had staggered 8km through mangrove swamps and along unused dirt roads.
Diver survives 15 hour swim in shark infested sea
A diver survived a 15 hour swim through shark-infested waters off the south Australian coast by clinging to the lid of a drinks cooler after his boat capsized.
Howard Rodd was recovering in the southern town of Ceduna, 990 miles west of Sydney, after a passing motorist discovered him staggering along a road.
He was temporarily blinded by sea salt during his ordeal, which began when his boat capsized in stormy weather. After clinging to the hull of his upturned boat for hours in waters known to be breeding areas of great white sharks, Mr Rodd decided to try to swim for shore.
He put on a wet suit and flippers and took the cool box lid for extra buoyancy before setting off to swim to a nearby island.
Instead he was towed away by strong currents and had to swim for about 15 nautical miles (30 kilometres) before being washed ashore on Tuesday.
Exhausted and his eyes swollen shut, Mr Rodd slept the night before swimming across a creek to reach the road where he was found.
Chief Inspector Malcolm Schulte said: "He's very weak but he has undergone an amazing feat of endurance and looking at him and listening to him speak I'm sure he'll make a rapid and full recovery."
There is no word about Mr Rodd's 47-year-old deck hand, Danny Thorpe, who stayed clinging to the boat because he was afraid of sharks.
Rescue authorities found the sunken boat on Thursday but there was no immediate word on Mr Thorpe's fate.
British tourist recuperates from shark attack off
:reporting from Sarasota Florida
BONITA SPRINGS -- A British tourist was recuperating Saturday from a shark bite that inflicted numerous wounds to his right leg, requiring more than 100 stitches to close.
Colin Shadforth, of Lincolnshire, England, had at least 30 wounds on his calf, said Dr. William Burkey at Lee Memorial Hospital where Shadforth was treated Friday.
“It clamped down on me and wouldn’t let go,” said Shadforth, 73, a retired general practitioner who has been a visitor to the southwest Florida Gulf Coast for 23 years.
Shadforth was swimming at Bonita Beach.
“It was a hell of a pain and it didn’t stop,” Shadforth said. “I was kicking and kicking.”
He said he tried to get a look at the attacker, but the water was murky and he could only see what he described as a 4- to 5-foot fish.
After a short struggle he gave one big kick with all his might. It worked, and Shadforth paddled ashore and began yelling for help.
“Blood was all over,” said Joan McGrath, 42, a vacationer from Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Paramedic Bill Richardson said he counted three to four puncture wounds that were severe and a tear in Shadforth’s calf muscle.
Bob Hueter, director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Center for Shark Research at Sarasota, said it probably was a small sharpnose or blacktip shark seen along the Gulf Coast beaches.
“They’re never fatal, but they’re always kind of nasty,” Hueter said.
George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack file, doesn’t think Shadforth was the target.
“More than likely, it was going after the splashing that it thought was from a normal prey item, grabbed on, and let go. It decided, ’That’s not what I’m after,’ and was gone.” ...
This story is a continuation of the following story...
Perth beaches closed after another shark sighting
A decision has been
made to close Perth beaches again after sightings of a shark off Cottesloe.
The patrons at the Blue Duck cafe overlooking Perth's Cottesloe Beach were drinking coffee and having breakfast as the early morning swimmers splashed about just off shore.
Kim Gamble, owner of the cafe - a favourite spot of the city's business and political elite - was doing his paperwork on the balcony.
Suddenly, as he and his customers watched in horror, a five-metre white pointer shark ploughed into a group of swimmers, tearing one man's leg off and leaving him to die, and then chasing one of his companions towards the beach.
"From the balcony I could see this huge shark - it was really huge," a shaken Mr Gamble said soon after the attack. "There was a whole sea of blood and it was pulling the person."
The first victim, 49-year-old Ken Crew, of Mosman Park, died soon after the shark savaged him in shallow water about 25 metres from the beach.
The white pointer then charged at one of his friends, Fremantle lawyer Mr Dirk Avery, who was only 10 metres from the shore when attacked.
"The shark went for this guy's legs," a witness told Perth radio. "The guy tried to push off the shark, walking backwards towards the shore quite slowly, pushing at the shark, and he made it to the shore's edge.
"His legs were totally bleeding, he looked like a cheese-grater with huge one-inch holes in his feet."
A passerby, Mr John Sims, rushed into the water and tried to fight off the shark. He then helped a surf lifesaver paddle a wave ski out to Mr Crew and drag him to shore. The lifesaver tried to resuscitate the father of three on the beach, but he died from loss of blood.
Ambulance officers later treated the lifesaver for shock along with an elderly woman who suffered a minor heart attack as the mayhem unfolded.
Both victims were members of an informal swimming club for middle-aged, well-to-do local residents known as The Pod, which meets at Cottesloe Beach every morning.
Ms Di McCusker, wife of the prominent barrister and Rothwells investigator Mr Malcolm McCusker, QC, was swimming with the group when the shark attacked about 6.30am.
"All of a sudden I heard this yelling and screaming and looked back and there was all this blood in the water," she said.
Mrs McCusker and her husband were hailed as heroes almost exactly three years ago when they paddled their wave ski out into the surf off Cottesloe Beach to rescue two shark attack victims.
The West Australian Fisheries Department immediately ordered the closure of beaches in the Perth area as five boats, three helicopters and a fixed-wing aircraft scoured the coastline for the shark.
A news helicopter spotted what was believed to be the white pointer about 10am, just 500 metres north of Cottesloe Beach.
With hundreds of people watching from the shore, boats followed the shark into deeper water for about an hour before it disappeared.
A shark expert with the Fisheries Department, Dr Jim Penn, said authorities were reluctant to kill the white pointer, which is a protected species, and would prefer to drive it back out to sea.
He said it was highly unlikely that the shark would attack a human again.
Yesterday's tragedy was the first fatal shark attack in the Perth area for more than 30 years. But, coming as it does just two months after two fatal attacks in South Australia, it has sent a shiver through beachgoers as the swimming season begins.
Shark bites surfer; injury to leg minor
October 21, 2000
By Maggie Large
NORTH HUTCHINSON ISLAND Jason Licamele has always been "paranoid" about shark bites, his friend said.
On Friday, the 23-year-old surfer found his fears were justified.
Licamele was surfing with his roommate and co-worker Brian Garr, 25, about 50 yards north of Fort Pierce State Inlet Park a little after 6 p.m. when Licamele noticed a dark shape moving toward him, Garr said.
"He saw the shark coming from about 30 yards away heading straight for him," Garr said. "He couldn’t even react."
Garr said he heard Licamele scream and saw him flailing in the water, then noticed him paddling into shore.
"I followed right after him," Garr said. "He had a huge gash on his right leg."
Licamele was able to make his way up to a bench at the Radisson Beach Resort’s access on North A1A. Garr ran to the resort’s restaurant for help, banging on the glass doors to get attention.
"The shark was probably a bull shark, about 6 or 7 feet long," Garr said. "It’s funny because Jason was always the one most paranoid about shark bites."
Both Licamele and Garr have been surfing "pretty much every day" since they moved to Fort Pierce six months ago to work at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.
"I think I might stay in for a couple of days, though," admitted Garr.
Licamele was treated at the scene by St. Lucie County Fire Rescue personnel, who confirmed the wound appeared to be a shark bite. He was then taken to Lawnwood Re-gional Medical Center.
Although there have recently been several attacks on marine life, such as dolphins, assualts on humans have been rare.
Last month, another surfer was bitten at dusk by a shark near the Fort Pierce Inlet. The victim, a 49-year-old Port St. Lucie resident, received injuries to his right foot and ankle.
Tourist Bitten by Shark Off Maui
OLOWALU, Hawaii (AP)--A California tourist was bitten by a shark in the back and thigh as she snorkeled a half-mile off of Maui island.
Henrietta Musselwhite, 56, of Geyserville, Calif., was in stable condition Thursday.
Ron Bass was kayaking with Musselwhite's daughter about 75 yards away on Wednesday when he saw a gray mass thrash in the water and heard Musselwhite yell for help. She climbed onto Bass' kayak, and he brought her to shore.
State conservation officials believe she was attacked by a tiger shark 6 to 8 feet long.
The area is known for shark activity, but a daytime attack in clear water is unusual, state aquatics resources specialist Russell Sparks said. The site is less than a mile from where a woman was killed by a shark in 1991.
Beaches were closed for a mile on either side of the tiny former plantation village of Olowalu.
Monday October 09 11:47 PM EDT
A Fort Lauderdale teenager was attacked by a shark Monday near Lake Worth Inlet in West Palm Beach.
Matt Kraskiewicz was surfing with some friends when they spotted a school of baitfish. A friend tried to get Kraskiewicz's attention to get away but it was too late.
The shark bit down on the teen's left foot. Witnesses said the shark was about 7 to 8 feet long. Kraskiewicz says he didn't even realized what had happened until he got to shore.
Kraskiewicz says that once he gets better, he will head back to the water and continue surfing.
Sharks attack twice more in New Smyrna BeachBy MARK I. JOHNSON
NEW SMYRNA BEACH - "The World's Safest Beach" wasn't for two swimmers Friday afternoon when they became Volusia County's 11th and 12th shark bite victims of the year.
Taylor Holley, 11, DeBary, was bitten twice in the right foot shortly before 1 p.m. as he swam in the surf with his father and sister in front of the Islander Resort in the 1200 block of South Atlantic Avenue.
About two hours later, Apopka stockbroker Austin White, 23, told friends he was surfing when he saw a 2-foot shark appear out of the murky water and latch onto his right hand. That incident occurred between Esther Street and Crawford Avenue, about a mile north of where Holley was attacked.
According to Cy Holley, Taylor's father, the family was bodysurfing in about waist-deep water when the shark bit his son.
"We had seen dolphins swimming and went out to watch them," Holley said. "Then we saw a bunch of fish swimming along. It was like a city block of them and we were standing in the middle of them as they swam past."
Suddenly, he said, his son reacted.
"I thought one of the fish had finned him, but he knew what it was," Holley said. "He swam over to me and I pulled him to shore."
The shark's bites left a horseshoe-shaped cut, about 3 to 4 inches across, near the youngster's heel, he said.
The boy was transported to Bert Fish Medical Center by ambulance, where it took doctors in the emergency room about 28 stitches to close the lacerations, according to hospital spokeswoman Cathy Vaughn.
Holley said the experience may keep his son out of the water for quite some time.
"He really didn't want to come (to the beach) today," Holley said. "Now I feel bad about insisting he come."
White's girlfriend, Jackie Slingerland, 22, also of Apopka, told reporters she got a call at her office from him saying he had been bitten.
"He had the day off and he came out to go surfing," she said. "We knew there were a lot of shark bites here, but he has lived near the beach all his life and he has never had a problem before."
She said the bite will not keep her or White out of the water in the future.
"It is just one of those things that happen," she said.
Vaughn said doctors were still working on White's hand about 6 p.m.
"(The bite) damaged several tendons," she said. "They are bringing a hand surgeon. We do not know if he is going to be admitted."
Beach Patrol Deputy Chief Ron Futch said while lifeguards aren't expecting big crowds this weekend, they will be on a heightened alert for sharks or bait in the water that might attract the predators.
"If they see anything like that they will clear the beach for 20 to 30 minutes until the shark has left or the bait is gone," he said.
New Smyrna touts itself as The World's Safest Beach. Sandbars running parallel to shore were once thought to keep out sharks.
Authorities Suspect that Killer Shark is still on the loose at Dar Es Salaam
still grips Dar Es Salaam swimmers and fishermen who have nothing to cherish in
the last week's catch of a river shark at the Coco Beach.
-- TWO GUYS hanging out at the Mavericks Roadhouse Cafe on Friday had better fish tales to swap than most -- and the teeth marks to prove it.
On the day the waves broke high at Mavericks for the first time since last winter, two Santa Barbara men had a close encounter with a Great White shark that left them shaken but uninjured.
Afterward, locals gathered to catch a glimpse of Paul "Peck" Euwer's 7-foot white surfboard, which had a clean half-circle bite mark on top.
Underneath, the board was gouged down to the foam by the shark's jaw and stained pink from blood from the animal's gums. The leg of Euwer's wetsuit was nicked, but not punctured, with teeth marks.
"Was it you?" a woman breathlessly asked Euwer. "God, you're so lucky (to be alive)."
Euwer, 34, didn't say much, but did observe, "It's a really monumental event in your life, especially for somebody who surfs."
The attack happened around 9 a.m., when Euwer and Mike Kasic, 41, were paddling on their boards out from Pillar Point to the breaking waves of Mavericks.
The two said they were doing research to make a nature film on waves, and were paddling out for a watery "business meeting" with Coastside resident Mark Sponsler, who monitors waves and runs a waves Web site.
When the men were 50 to 100 yards past what is known as Mushroom Rock, Kasic, who was ahead of Euwer, said he suddenly heard a slap and a blood-curdling scream from behind him.
"I heard a slap, like when you hit the face of a wave, but I knew it couldn't be that because it was flat," he said. "So I looked back and saw Peck on his board, about a foot above the water."
Kasic said he saw an eight- to 10-foot Great White with its jaw around the side of the board and its nose under Euwer's arm. Euwer, he said, was "flailing" and then fell off the board, which landed on the shark's back.
Kasic then saw the dorsal fin coming right toward him, and the shark's black eyes, he said. Just short of him, the animal dove down into the water and disappeared.
Terrified, the two men got back to the beach and then found a surfer with a cellular phone to call the harbor patrol, Kasic said.
Harbormaster Dan Temko sent patrolmen on a boat and two personal watercraft to get the about eight remaining surfers at Mavericks out of the water.
Surfers have been advised to stay out of the water for the time being, said Temko, who estimated that the last time a shark attack was reported at Mavericks was at least nine years ago.
The Pillar Point area is within a shark-rich area known as The Red Triangle, which stretches from southern Monterey to Bodega Bay out to the Farallon Islands.
Between 1926 and 1993, there were 67 confirmed shark attacks in California, including some at Montara Beach north of Pillar Point, Ao Nuevo Island and Pacifica.
In 1991, surfer Eric Larson was bitten by a Great White at Ao Nuevo Island, and a diver was attacked off Pacifica on the same day. In the last known attack in the area, a few years ago, a surfer's swim fin was bitten.
A shark was seen off San Francisco's Stinson Beach in August 1999, about one year after a 16-year-old Terra Linda boy survived a shark attack while he was boogie boarding in about 5 feet of water 50 yards from shore at Stinson Beach. The shark bit the boy's right leg.
Shark researchers say Great Whites rarely attack human beings deliberately. It is believed that most attacks on humans are because the sharks mistake them for such prey animals as seals or sea elephants.
Human victims of Great White attacks often suffer serious wounds but usually survive because sharks usually bite once and release the victim.
Chris Manchester, 28, a sea kayaker from Princeton By the Sea, referred to the area where Friday's attack occurred as "a shark alley."
Manchester said that just a few days ago he saw a Great White near Mushroom Rock with a sea lion in his mouth.
In response to Friday's attack, he said, "This is no surprise to me at all."
After the attack, Euwer called his wife at home in Santa Barbara to let her know what happened. A fellow surfer, she was shocked, he said.
Euwer, who surfs every week, said the attack made him realize one simple truth: "You realize that you're just food to a big animal."
Swimming banned on Dar Es Salaam
coast after fatal shark attack
An alarm has been raised near the Coco Beach coast area of Dar es Salaam after a shark reportedly ate a university student whose swimming spree in the idyllic Indian Ocean waters went awry.
Godfrey Msemwa, a third year student at the Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences was buried at sea Friday. Friends and relatives threw flower wreaths in the ocean in his memory.
Godfrey had been reported missing for a
week before relatives came to the sad conclusion. Efforts to retrieve his
remains came to naught with some relatives blaming regional police for
Speaking at the requiem mass, Dar es Salaam
Regional Commissioner Yusuf Makamba, said all swimming at the beach had
now been banned.
The regional defence and security committee
had taken the action due to the spiralling wave of shark attacks on the
same beach, Makamba said. Msemwa, 28, is the fifth shark attack victim.
An official of the Japanese International
Cooperation Agency sustained injuries on his fingers after a similar
attack in 1999 and had to be rushed to South Africa for treatment.
"We have lost five residents this year, and we can not still keep silent, we kindly ask residents of Dar es Salaam to stop frequenting Coco Beach until further notice," Makamba warned.
A recent study indicates that the number of
shark attacks on humans has increased with South Africa having the second
highest figures after the US.
more to come,,, this week.
after second shark attack
His surfboard was recovered, but his body had not been found hours
after the attack.
State Emergency Service officers from the area are helping police in a
Police were initially unable to give details of the victim or the type
of shark, but the spokeswoman said the man was believed to be a local.
Yesterday, a 25-year-old New Zealand man, Cameron Bayes, was dragged
off his surfboard by a white pointer at Cactus Beach, on the state's far
west coast. Details of the latest attack are sketchy but it is believed to
have happened 200km from Cactus Beach.
Yesterday searchers found parts of the New Zealand man's surfboard, but
a police spokeswoman said nothing was found today.
"The search will continue tomorrow morning in the same area when
tidal movements are more favourable," she said. Media reports named
the victim as Cameron Bayes of Auckland, who was on a six-month honeymoon
travelling around Australia.
His wife was not on the beach at the time but was told of her husband's
death by witnesses.
She was reported to be in severe shock last night and was taken to the
nearby Ceduna Hospital.
Witnesses said the shark, about five metres long, thrashed around in a
circular motion after it grabbed Mr Bayes who was on his surfboard about
50 metres offshore.
They said they were surprised by the severity of the attack and just
how close the shark had come to the beach.
Police said they had already spoken with a number of people who saw the
incident but also appealed for anyone else who was in the area at the time
to come forward.
The attack was the second at Cactus Beach this year with Anthony Hayes
mauled by a three-metre shark in February.
He survived because his friend, Steve Thomas, punched and poked the
shark in the eyes until it let go.
In 1975 Wade Shippard, 12, died in a white pointer attack while
swimming at nearby Point Sinclair.
His surfboard was recovered, but his body had not been found hours after the attack.
State Emergency Service officers from the area are helping police in a search.
Police were initially unable to give details of the victim or the type of shark, but the spokeswoman said the man was believed to be a local.
Yesterday, a 25-year-old New Zealand man, Cameron Bayes, was dragged off his surfboard by a white pointer at Cactus Beach, on the state's far west coast. Details of the latest attack are sketchy but it is believed to have happened 200km from Cactus Beach.
Yesterday searchers found parts of the New Zealand man's surfboard, but a police spokeswoman said nothing was found today.
"The search will continue tomorrow morning in the same area when tidal movements are more favourable," she said. Media reports named the victim as Cameron Bayes of Auckland, who was on a six-month honeymoon travelling around Australia.
His wife was not on the beach at the time but was told of her husband's death by witnesses.
She was reported to be in severe shock last night and was taken to the nearby Ceduna Hospital.
Witnesses said the shark, about five metres long, thrashed around in a circular motion after it grabbed Mr Bayes who was on his surfboard about 50 metres offshore.
They said they were surprised by the severity of the attack and just how close the shark had come to the beach.
Police said they had already spoken with a number of people who saw the incident but also appealed for anyone else who was in the area at the time to come forward.
The attack was the second at Cactus Beach this year with Anthony Hayes mauled by a three-metre shark in February.
He survived because his friend, Steve Thomas, punched and poked the shark in the eyes until it let go.
In 1975 Wade Shippard, 12, died in a white pointer attack while swimming at nearby Point Sinclair.
ends in fatal shark attack
Witnesses described how the 4m to 5m shark "circled and thrashed" as it attacked the surfer several times.
"A really large shark just came in and attacked him, thrashing around in a circular motion around him," one witness said. Jeff Hunter, 44, of Port Lincoln who was on a camping trip with his two children said: "He seemed to get back on his board and was paddling back and it came in again.
"It was just horrendous – it totally took him out. It just seemed to roll on its belly then it thrashed around a bit more then it seemed to release the surfboard ... but there was nothing left of the guy."
The victim's wife, also from Auckland, was told of the tragedy by other surfers camping at the same remote site in the sand dunes. She was taken to Ceduna Hospital, suffering severe shock.
Fellow campers said the couple married in February. The pair – described as happy and easy-going – had planned to leave for WA in a few days to do some shearing.
Peter Ryan, 43, of Moana Beach, walked over a sand dune and saw the final moments of the 90-second attack.
"It didn't attack him from above, it just created a whirlpool which dragged him down," Mr Ryan said.
"I just saw a flash of red as the wave came over and then it was all over.
"We saw the last 30 seconds and that took forever . . . we were in disbelief that it could be that close.
"There was certainly a lot of force in it and it was very savage. The thing really wanted him and it wasn't going to let him go."
Camping ground owner Ron Gates, who has been in the area for 25 years, was "shocked, horrified, sick" when campers told him of the tragedy.
"This is the fourth attack since I've been here, so it's not the first, but it's the first fatal, so it makes a big difference," Mr Gates said.
Mr Gates immediately put up signs closing the beach while female campers comforted Mr Bayes' distraught wife until an ambulance arrived.
He said it was impossible to estimate how many great whites had visited the bay over the years as, unlike other sharks, surfers only saw them "once they've got a hold of you".
"Everybody's treating this totally differently to previous attacks, everybody's totally devastated," Mr Gates said.
Yesterday's attack was the second at Cactus Beach this year. In February Anthony Hayes was mauled by a 3m shark off Point Sinclair, at the eastern end of Cactus Beach.
In 1975, a 12-year-old boy was taken by a shark while swimming at Point Sinclair.
Penong resident Max Scott, 45, yesterday said another fatal attack at Cactus Beach had only been "a matter of time".
"You have only got to think how many other sharks are on the coast and how many of my mates have had near-death experiences," Mr Scott said. Police yesterday managed to recover three parts of the mangled surfboard, which was taken to Ceduna with Mr Bayes' possessions.
Senior Sergeant Kym Thomas, officer in charge of Ceduna Police, said police officers and State Emergency Services volunteers would resume searching for the victim's body today.
Anthony Hayes survived the February attack because his lifelong friend, Steve Thomas, punched and poked the shark in the eyes until it let go of Mr Hayes.
"It sends a chill down your spine," Mr Hayes said yesterday after being told of the attack. "I don't think I will surf at Cactus this summer.
"I would like to think I could surf there again, but time will tell.
"It seems to be happening a bit more often; I believe shark
attacks are on the increase. They are coming closer to land, they are
coming closer and closer."
Shark Bites Off Arm, Legs, Kills Miyako Surfer
A shark attacked and killed a 31-year old surfer off Sunayama Beach in Miyako Island, Saturday. The fatal attack occurred only 30 meters from the beach. The man’s friend who watched the attack from the shore said that the victim suddenly disappeared under water while waiting for a wave sitting on his surfboard. Immediately afterwards he saw the shark’s fin on the surface.
At the same time other surfers in the area shouted a warning. The surfers rushing to the scene found the victim and were able to drag him to the shore. He was taken to the hospital where he died of loss of blood. The shark had bitten off both his legs and the right arm and shoulder. The shark also bit off a chunk of his surfboard.
A previous fatal shark attack in Miyako occurred three years ago when a fisherman died after he went to swim off his boat. According to Masahiro Tomari, the chairman of Miyako Diving Association, this is the first time in living memory that a shark has attacked a human off a popular beach. “All previous shark attacks that I’m aware of have occurred further offshore and involved professional fishermen,” Tomari said. He went on to express his concern on the impact the attack would have on the island tourism, an increasingly important source of revenue for the local economy.
On Monday Hirara City local officials set a one kilometer-long fishing net off the Sunayama Beach to try to catch sharks possibly still in the vicinity of the beach. They set their net some 800 meters off the beach in a semicircle. They plan to leave the net for a day or two before checking whether they have caught anything.
Based on the toothmarks the surfboard, experts have concluded that the attacker most likely was about 2.5 meters long Great White. Hidelatsu Terya of Okinawa Memorial Park Aquarium said that the staple diet of this kind of sharks consists mostly of seals and attacks on humans are extremely rare. He went on to say that the shark probably mistook the sounds and shape of the surfboard for a seal. He said that it is rather rare for the shark to come to so close to the beach, but they sometimes seek shallow waters, for example just before they give birth.
Hirara City conducts shark hunts every year. In this year’s first hunt, 54 sharks were caught.
Small shark attack pushes this year's total to 10By MICHAEL GIUSTI (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES - A small shark bit a swimmer Monday, the 10th such attack along Volusia County's beach this year.
Jason Armstrong, 25, St. Petersburg, was in waist-deep water at 1:20 p.m. when a shark bit the middle fingers on his right hand, said Beach Patrol Deputy Chief Joe Wooden.
Armstrong told lifeguards he grabbed the 2- to 3-foot shark with his other hand and pulled free. Then he walked out of the water north of the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort at 2500 S. Atlantic Ave.
Armstrong was taken to Halifax Medical Center and treated in the emergency room.
"Right now we are having unstable weather stirring up the ocean," Wooden said. "That brings in bait fish, which brings in sharks."
He said the rough surf conditions are expected to continue for at least the next two days.
Other than the shark attack, Wooden said there were no major problems on the beach.
"We just continue to patrol the beach looking for hazardous conditions," he said.
He said the peak beach season has passed and the number of people on the beach is down.
Wooden added that the rip currents still pose a potential danger and there were a few rescues scattered throughout the county Monday. But nothing was out of the ordinary, he said.
The Flagler Beach Fire Department did not report any major problems on the beach Monday or over the weekend.
Shark bite victim is ninth in county for 2000By MARK I. JOHNSON (email@example.com)
NEW SMYRNA BEACH - An Atlanta visitor became Volusia County's ninth shark bite victim late Friday morning.
Terrill Crane, 40, said he was walking in about 3 feet of water in front of the Coconut Palm Resort time-shared condominium, 611 S. Atlantic Ave., when he saw a shark a short distance away.
"It wasn't big, about 5 feet long," said Crane while lying on the beach waiting transport to Bert Fish Medical Center, blood from wounds on his foot staining the sand around him. "He started coming toward my leg, so I kicked at it and it bit me.
"I called to my wife to get out of the water, then I got out," he said.
Crane's wife, Tonya, said at the hospital she was unaware her husband was under attack until he started yelling.
"I never saw the shark," she said. "I didn't even know he was fighting it."
Once Crane got to the beach after the 11:45 a.m. attack, a bystander ran to the nearest lifeguard tower to summon help.
As emergency medical crews treated the multiple lacerations to the top and bottom of his left foot, Crane asked if such attacks are common. A New Smyrna Beach firefighter told him it was not uncommon, but there had never been a serious attack or someone killed by a shark along local beaches.
"They are just taste testers then," Crane quipped.
Crane's mother, Ofelia Crane of Woodbury, Conn., said the family is here on vacation.
"This is our first time in New Smyrna Beach," she said. "What an experience."
She said she had been told there were no sharks along this beach because a reef blocked them from coming ashore. And now even with firsthand knowledge that information was wrong, it won't prevent her from coming back or going into the water.
"But for now I think I will stay in the pool," she said with a smile.
Her husband, Bill Wehrhahn, said he doesn't plan to go back in the ocean any time soon, but that won't likely be a permanent decision.
The idea of sharks in the water didn't seem to bother Pittsburgh, Pa., visitors, Hil and Martha Schramm.
"We were out in the water with him," said Martha Schramm. "I didn't see anything."
"We have been in the water all week and haven't seen anything," added her husband.
They said Friday's attack would not keep them out of the water, but Martha Schramm said she would look more carefully at the water before she enters.
Scott Petersohn , Volusia County Beach Service's training officer, said the Crane bite was the ninth documented shark attack this year in Volusia waters.
"That is about on par with last year," he said.
Crane was released from the Bert Fish emergency room after being treated.
Including Friday's attack, 23 people have been bitten by sharks in Florida waters so far this year, compared with 25 in all of 1999.
Officials are looking into possible reasons for the recent shark attacks. One theory, a state fisheries official said Friday, is that since the net ban, larger schools of mullet are coming closer to shore. The large schools of bait fish are attracting much bigger fish such as bull sharks and tarpon, which can sometimes be seen feeding in the surf.
On the other hand, shark researchers say there are just more people in the water, which increases the odds of human-shark encounters.
Environment Writer Dinah Voyles Pulver contributed to this report.
Area shark bitesShark bites reported so far this year in Volusia County are:
-- Sept. 8, south of Flagler Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, 40-year-old Atlanta man, bite on the left foot.
-- July 25, New Smyrna Beach, 5-year-old boy, minor left leg wound.
-- July 10, Silver Beach Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, 13-year-old boy, minor foot wound.
-- July 9, Neptune Avenue, Ormond Beach, 41-year-old Holly Hill man, 15-inch bite above right knee, 8-inch bite to right calf.
-- July 2, Smyrna Dunes Park, New Smyrna Beach, 19-year-old Lake Mary girl, bite to the upper left thigh.
-- July 2, Smyrna Dunes Park, New Smyrna Beach, 13-year-old Kentucky girl, bite on the left calf.
-- June 19, Seminole Avenue, Ormond Beach, 52-year-old Valrico man, 3-4 inch laceration on right ankle.
-- June 2, 27th Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, 13-year-old Longwood boy, bite to arm just above the wrist.
-- April 15, south of Ponce de Leon Inlet, Orlando man, bite on the left foot .
State shark statsShark attacks are more common in Florida waters than anywhere else in the world, with 25 people suffering bites statewide in 1999, according to the International Shark File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
Twenty-three attacks been reported in state waters so far this year, including one Aug. 30 that resulted in the death of a 69-year-old man swimming off a dock in Boca Ciega Bay near St. Petersburg. That death was Florida's first fatal shark attack since Nov. 21, 1998, when a 9-year-old boy was killed off Vero Beach in Indian River County.
Including the Boca Ciega Bay death, five people have been killed by sharks in state waters over the past 25 years.
Volusia County routinely leads the state in the number of shark bites reported, with nine last year and eight in 1998. However, no fatal attacks have ever been recorded in Volusia County, according to the Shark File.
Aug 31, 2000 - 07:38 PM
bled to death
Yoli Pate was floating on a raft in her backyard swimming pool in St. Pete Beach when she heard horrifying screams from her next-door neighbor's wife.
``She was screaming for five to 10 minutes,'' said a shaken Pate. ``The screams were very eerie; very scary.''
Neighbors say Thadeus Kubinski, 69, of 4321 Holland Drive, was taking his usual swim in Boca Ciega Bay, beside his own dock, when he was attacked and killed about 4 p.m. Wednesday by what authorities suspect was an 8-to 9-foot-long bull shark weighing 400 pounds.
An autopsy performed Thursday determined that Kubinski essentially bled to death. His liver was heavily damaged in the attack.
Kubinski's wounds to the right side of his body, officials said, were consistent with a shark attack, said Fred Golliner, St. Pete Beach fire chief.
``The body was floating right next to the sea wall,'' said Pate, who did not see the shark. ``There was blood everywhere.''
Kubinski was swimming in water four to five feet deep.
Shark experts assisted the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner's Office in the autopsy.
Several of the neighborhood's residents were startled by the attack. Some at the scene said they, too, regularly swim, fish and boat in the waters by their upscale homes.
``My daughter, she swims in this water all the time. We all do,'' said Susan Cassidy, who lives a few houses down from Kubinski. ``This guy swam every day.''
The attack stunned shark specialists.
``Deaths are few and far between,'' said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. ``This is a very unusual event.'' Burgess will assist at the autopsy.
He added, ``It's not the time to be shutting beaches or getting into any `Jaws'-like panic.''
There have been only eight unprovoked shark attacks in Pinellas County since record keeping began more than 100 years ago. The last fatality was in 1981.
``There's always sharks in the area; this is their habitat,'' Golliner said. ``But I've been with the city for 25 years now, and I've never, ever heard of a shark attack.''
The last fatal shark attack in Florida waters occurred in November 1998 in Indian River County, when a tiger shark killed a child swimmer.
Before that, a fatal attack occurred in 1988 in Bay County, and one in Pinellas County in 1981 when a Tampa bartender tried to swim from Anna Maria Island to Egmont Key.
Experts say bull sharks and hammerhead sharks come to mind first for being capable of such an attack. A small group of hammerheads was visible from the air just a couple of hundred feet from the site of Wednesday's fatality.
The first species that came to Burgess' mind was bull shark, but he said the wounds would have to be examined to make such a determination.
Robert Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at Sarasota's Mote Marine laboratory agreed. Bull sharks ``can be very aggressive, not skittish like most sharks,'' Hueter said. ``They are the most dangerous species in this area's coastal waters.
``Still, shark attacks are very, very rare.''
Terri Hepburn, assistant director of Clearwater Marine Aquarium, said hammerheads cannot be ruled out.
``The way [hammerheads] hunt makes them more prone to ... mistake prey,'' she said. ``They are more apt to go for prey on the spur of the moment. They are not into stalking as much as some of the other species of sharks are.''
Why would a shark attack a human?
``They are attracted to certain behavioral things,'' Burgess said. ``The reality is that a splashing human might be attractive to a shark.''
Or the creature just might have made a mistake.
``They don't know that you are not food,'' said Jeff Swanagan, executive director of the Florida Aquarium. ``So they take a chunk of you to see what you are.''
Attacks vary by their location.
On Florida's east coast, they typically involve smaller sharks and are more of the hit-and-run variety, Burgess said. One the west coast, they involve larger sharks, occur less often but are frequently more serious, he said.
Kubinski would have celebrated his 70th birthday a week from today.
He owned rental property in both Connecticut and in Pinellas County, those who knew him said.
``He was a very, very nice guy,'' said Joe Litterio, who lived next door to Kubinski when he lived in Enfield, Conn., nearly a decade ago. ``He was very good to his tenants. He was always doing improvements to his houses.''
Both Kubinski and his wife were active, Litterio said.
``He and his wife were always walking everywhere. A lot of walking, a lot of exercising,'' he said. ``He was in good shape. I wouldn't have believed he was almost 70. He seemed a lot younger than that.''
Tribune researchers Buddy Jaudon and Diane Grey contributed to this report. Carlos Moncada can be reached at (727) 823-3303.
|© Copyright 2000 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.|
Shark attacks man off Maui
By Christie Wilson, Neighbor Island Editor
Wednesday, August 16, 2000
KANAHA, Maui — A
visitor from France was critically injured in a shark attack on Maui’s most
popular windsurfing beach yesterday.
Jean Alain Goenvec, 53, of Marseilles, was windsurfing at Kanaha Beach around noon in turquoise water a mile off the north shore beach when he was bitten on the leg. He was brought ashore and taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition last night with a severe wound to one of his calves.
Maui County water safety officials immediately closed beaches along the coast from Kanaha to Baldwin Beach Park and posted "shark sighting" warning signs. Kanaha, adjacentto Kahului Airport, remained closed today.
It was the second time in less than a week that a Maui beach has been closed because of concerns about sharks. During the weekend, D.T. Fleming Beach Park in West Maui was closed after a 15-foot tiger shark was observed prowling near shore.
Hawai‘i averages two to three shark attacks each year. Officials with the statewide shark task force last year were concerned about three attacks on the Big Island in less than six months but found nothing to indicate there were more sharks in Hawai‘i waters.
Only Goenvec saw the shark that attacked off Kanaha. One of his companions, Michel Barlaud of Cannes, France, was on the beach when the windsurfer was brought to shore. Barlaud said Goenvec told him the creature was 12 to 15 feet long.
American Airlines pilot John Sincerbeaux, 39, who likes to spend his brief Hawai‘i layovers windsurfing at Kanaha, was enjoying the brisk trade winds on his sailboard when he saw Goenvec in the water waving his arms.
"I saw this guy way out signaling for help," Sincerbeaux said. "He was laying on his board, and I sailed right up to him. I thought the sail came off his board, but he told me he was just attacked by a shark."
The pilot sailed back to shore and notified water safety officer Joe Perez of the situation. Perez launched his rescue ski and sped out to Goenvec. Perez said the windsurfer was fully conscious and had used one of his sail lines as a tourniquet in an attempt to stop the flow of blood from his massive wound. Goenvec was able to cling to the sled attached to the back of Perez’s rescue ski and was towed ashore.
Neither Perez nor Sincerbeaux said they saw sharks swimming in the area. In fact, Perez said that in the seven years he has been posted at Kanaha, he has yet to see a shark.
"Some of the windsurfers have said they’ve seen sharks when they sail far out there, but they never come in," Perez said.
Barlaud described Goenvec as an expert windsurfer. The two men are on Maui for a month’s vacation with their wives and have been windsurfing at Kanaha almost every day since arriving. They were planning to leave Aug. 25.
"When we windsurf, we can fall in the water, even if we are expert," Barlaud said in explaining what happened to his friend. When asked if he would continue to windsurf at Kanaha, he replied: "I don’t know."
Other windsurfers at Kanaha yesterday were more nonchalant about the shark attack. "It’s something a bit unexpected," said Chris Peroutka of Vienna, Austria, as he packed up to head to a windsurfing beach on the leeward side of the island. "It won’t stop me (from windsurfing), but I’ll be more wary."
Robert Stadler of Bavaria, Germany, was at Kanaha with his family and was just getting ready to launch his windsurfing rig when he heard about the shark attack. Stadler, who has been coming to Maui for 10 years, said he wouldn’t hesitate to go out in the ocean once the beach is reopened.
"You always think about it when you’re in the water, but I think that’s like real life — if you get on the road you can also get killed," he said.
Sincerbeaux also said he wouldn’t be deterred from sailing the waters off Kanaha. "It won’t keep me from it, but I’m sure I’ll be thinking about it."
Maui County Chief of Aquatics Marian Feenstra said yesterday’s incident shows the importance of equipping beach lifeguards with rescue skis and sleds so they can respond quickly to emergencies. It would have taken much longer to bring Goenvec to safety if officials had to rely on the Department of Fire Control to launch its rescue boat from Kahului Harbor, she said.
Surfer Survives Shark Attack
Thursday, July 19, 2000
A TEENAGE surfer was discharged from a South African hospital yesterday after surviving an attack by a great white shark in the Indian Ocean off East London. Shannon Ainslie, 15, was paddling his surfboard about 50 yards from the beach when he was lifted out of the water by a shark, which was estimated to be about 12ft long.
He was able to paddle back to shore despite being injured. His right arm was later put in plaster. The curator of the East London Aquarium, Willie Maritz, identified the shark as a great white from an amateur video recording of the incident. Anton La Guardia, Johannesburg
Victim fears sharks will attack again
July 17 1999 at 07:52PM
Plettenberg Bay body-boarder Neil Stevenson, who lost a leg in a shark attack last year, says he fears a recurrence of the spate of shark attacks that plagued the Eastern Cape coast last year.
"The attacks really started last year and they could be happening again," Stevenson said after the death this week of 14-year-old body-boarder Hercules Pretorius, who was bitten by a great white shark at Buffalo Bay near Knysna.
A 29-year-old surfer was also bitten on his leg by a 4m great white shark at Cintsa near East London recently.
Hercules's death rekindled memories of Stevenson's horrific experience.
"The hardest part was when I heard he didn't make it. It's one thing to survive it, but he didn't. My condolences go to his family.
"The worst part is that we don't know enough about the sharks."
Stevenson said that, although the percentage of attacks in the sea was low, they still made swimmers "very wary".
Asked what could be done to prevent the attacks, he said: "Shark nets are very expensive and need to be serviced regularly. The coastline is so huge, it is not really financially worthwhile.
"In Durban they have a lot of beach tourism, so it is financially viable for them."
Stevenson said more body-boarders were attacked by sharks than surfers because there were more body-boarders in the water than surfers.
"Sharks are very inquisitive animals and they don't have hands to investigate something. They often use their mouths and this causes a lot of damage."
Stevenson said he hoped that last year's figure of 15 shark attacks would not be repeated.
"It is not like being in the bush, where you can carry a firearm. All you can do is get out of the water."
Great Whites to be captured on film
July 08 1999 at 11:20AM
Coen van Kranenburg
The False Bay water is quiet and flat off Seal Island.
Then the placid surface is broken as a solitary huge 4,5m Great White shark breaches the water in pursuit of a seal, flinging its prey into the air in a showdown of power.
The sight of a massive predator, weighing up to 3 000kg, lifting its body all the way out of the water in the kill is what lured a National Geographic television and magazine crew to the Cape Peninsula to capture the event on film.
Breaching by sharks was first documented in False Bay in 1995 by local shark researchers Chris Fallows and his partner Rob Lawrence. "We are making a portrait of the Great White shark in honour of the book Jaws, which was first published 25 years ago," said National Geographic Television producer John Bredar.
All shark research work in False Bay is being done by Fallows and Lawrence under strict permit conditions imposed by the Department of Sea Fisheries.
One of the difficulties the National Geographic team faced was to film an actual breaching attack, as they were unsure of when the sharks would attack.
"The best thing to do is observe prey behaviour. When a seal comes up close to the shoreline, it stands a high chance of being attacked," said Bredar.
They came up with the idea of hiding a camera inside a seal dummy.
"One of the most intense moments I have ever experienced in my 13 years with National Geographic was observing this tiny screen and after a while seeing this Great White emerging out of the blue and coming straight at me with his jaws wide open."
The trick worked. "We got lucky," said Bredar.
Though most of the filming they did was on the surface, divers sometimes had to go down in cages. They didn't take any chances.
"When the cameramen focus on filming, they don't see what is happening around them. Sometimes they'll turn their heads and all of a sudden a shark will be eyeing them at close range."
According to Fallows, a naturalist who has been studying Great White sharks in False Bay for years, their breaching behaviour seems to be a False Bay trademark.
"They seem to have adapted to the depth of False Bay coastal waters. Most such areas are shallower.
"Because the sharks feed on fast and agile prey such as seals, they have to put a lot of effort into catching them."
The shark attacks its prey in an ambush, by emerging from deeper waters at high speed. As it tries to seize the seal, it lifts partially or sometimes completely out of the water because of its speed and angle.
Breaching is not the only behaviour that has been discovered.
Perhaps the most interesting discovery about Great White sharks is that they are not the solitary, mindless killers they were thought to be. Studies done by Californian shark experts Leonard Compagno and Mark Marks of the Shark Research Centre of the South African Museum show Great Whites are complex social animals.
Some of the behavioural patterns they have tracked down are "gaping" and "hunching". Both are done while partly out of the water, possibly to protect territory.
In May and June Bredar and his crew filmed in False Bay and Gansbaai, where large seal as well as fish colonies provide a good environment for Great Whites.
Earlier this year they went to Adelaide, Australia for about a month to explore other new-found aspects of the sharks.
Even though research has clarified a lot about the Great White shark in recent years, many questions remain unanswered.
How and where do they mate? Where do they pup? How big is their action radius?
Among the National Geographic crew were Jaws author Peter Benchley and Australian Rodney Fox. Fox survived a Great White attack in 1963 while he was competing in a popular spear-fishing tournament near Adelaide.
Because of the Australian's miraculous survival this remains probably the most well-known Great White shark attack to have taken place anywhere in the world.
The awesomely vicious attack left the now 58-year-old man with 462 stitches in his arm and side - and a lifelong interest in Great Whites.
Less than three months after the attack Fox was back in the water to learn about the predator.
Shark attack fails to deter Ocean Warriors
July 16 2000 at 08:25PM
Eight elated, but totally exhausted, Vodacom Ocean Warriors had completed a total of 1 312km when their seven days and nights endurance bid ended in Durban on Sunday.
Brett Challenor, Dema Mzobe, Ian Barnes, Deon Coetzee, Wade Krieger, Dawid Mocke and Russell Sadler had to dig deep into their physical and mental resources in their fight through all types of weather and surf conditions as their outstanding feat surpassed the original target of 1 000km of swimming, paddling and surf canoeing.
Ocean Warriors director Julian Taylor said that Saturday night proved to be the most difficult, as an unseasonal winter storm hit Durban ahead of an icy cold front and there was yet another close encounter with a shark. "It was amazing that everything seemed to happen on Saturday," said Taylor.
"The lightening was scary and then Ian Barnes was knocked off his board by a shark in the dark.
"Our back-up team saw something in the water behind Ian and were able to shout a warning. However, he was still knocked off his board, but luckily he wasn't injured and was able to continue.
"I'm happy it's all over now, because there was a chance on Tuesday that the team might stop their attempt because things were not going well."
Challenor added that the squad were relieved that it was all over. "The camaraderie among the guys was great and that's what really got us through when the going got tough." - Staff writer
Man Bitten Twice by Shark Off Ormand Beach
Monday, July 10, 2000
ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA- An unusually aggressive shark attacked a Holly Hill man swimming north of the Neptune Road beach approach Sunday, the Beach Patrol said.
Anthony Zent, 41, was in the water just after 6 p.m. when he was bitten twice in the leg by a shark, said Beach Patrol Deputy Chief Joe Wooden. Zent was taken to Halifax Medical Center with a 15-inch bite above his right knee and an 8-inch bite in his right calf, Wooden said.
"It is unusual in that it bit him two times," Wooden said. He said most bites are accidents and sharks usually let go once they realize they didn't bite a small fish.
Bystanders wrapped Zent's leg in towels to try and stop the bleeding, Wooden said. He was being treated in the emergency room late Sunday night.
Sunday's incident was the seventh shark bite in Volusia County this year. Wooden said he didn't know if Zent was swimming or standing when the shark bit.
Volusia County led the world in unprovoked shark attacks in 1999 with nine, according to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History. The file listed only 49 unprovoked shark attacks for 1999 around the world, down from 54 the year before. Florida accounted for 51 percent of those bites.
Shark Attacks Girl Off Outer Banks
The Associated Press
Friday, July 7, 2000; 10:53 p.m. EDT
PINE ISLAND, N.C. –– A girl vacationing with her family on the Outer Banks was attacked by a shark in shallow water, leaving her with a 9-inch crescent-shaped gash that required more than 300 stitches.
"I thought that someone was grabbing me," 12-year-old Ashley Walker of Chillicothe, Ohio, said Friday of the attack off Currituck a day earlier. "It didn't really hurt."
Ashley had never seen the ocean until she arrived here July 1 with a group of 15 friends and relatives who rented a cottage on the northern barrier island.
She was playing in the surf at about 4:30 p.m. when she felt something brush against her, and then a tug. Blood filled the water, but she didn't realize how badly she'd been hurt until she reached the shore and saw the gash on her right calf.
Marshall Cherry, Corolla fire chief and director of Corolla Ocean Rescue, said no one saw the fish, but a doctor and emergency personnel had little doubt it was a shark.
"We are assuming it's a tiger shark," Cherry said. He guessed the shark had been following fish that came in with Gulf Stream waters and got closer than usual to shore.
Ashley sustained no torn muscles or ligaments and is expected to make a complete recovery, said her mother, Wanda Walker. But Ashley said once was enough for her.
"I'm not going back in," she said.
Sharks attack two young women off Florida beach
Monday, July 3, 2000
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Sharks attacked and injured two young women in separate incidents in the waters off New Smyrna beach just south of Daytona Beach, Florida, officials said Monday.
Danielle Shidemantle, 19, of Lake Mary, Florida, was briefly hospitalized and then released after what was described as a 3-foot shark sunk its teeth into her thigh and then let go in the early afternoon on Sunday, Volusia County Deputy Beach Chief Joe Wooden said.
Barely two hours later, in a more serious incident, a shark bit Amber Benningfield, 13, from Bowling Green, Kentucky, in her calf. The girl underwent surgery on Sunday and was listed in stable condition on Monday, hospital officials said.
The girls were both swimming with friends on the beach's northern end when young sharks, most likely black tip or spinner sharks, bit them.
"They're learning to hunt, to eat fish," Wooden said of the sharks. "They get disoriented and start biting down on anything that moves. When they bite down and realize it's not something they usually eat, they let go."
Neither species are man-eaters, Wooden said, adding that young sharks learning to track down bait fish, which swim in large schools at New Smyrna Beach, are easily confused by shallow waters and flurries of activity.
About 10 million bathers flocked to the 47-mile long white sand beach last year, Wooden said.
Last year, Volusia County had the highest incidence of shark attacks in Florida, the state with the highest incidence of shark attacks in the United States, which in turn is the country with the highest incidence of shark attacks in the world, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) compiled by researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Of the 58 unprovoked shark attacks reported worldwide in 1999, 37 occurred in the United States, 25 in Florida, and 9 in Volusia county, the ISAF found.
Wooden said as far as he knew, none of the attacks at New Smyrna have ever resulted in death.
Alabama Shark Attack Victim Speaks
Monday, June 12, 2000 Filed at 9:16 a.m. EDT
By The Associated Press
GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) -- Confronted by a shark that had already sheared off a fellow swimmer's hand, Richard Watley knew he had the fight of his life.
``It came up under me, and I looked down and saw him staring me right in the face. I thought, 'I'm going to die,' and I decided I wasn't going to die without a fight,'' Watley said Saturday from his hospital room.
The shark attacked 55-year-old Watley, a barber shop owner, and Chuck Anderson, 44, a coach and vice principal at nearby Robertsdale High School, Friday morning as they swam in the Gulf of Mexico training for a triathlon.
It was the first unprovoked shark attack in Alabama waters in 25 years.
Anderson lost his right arm a few inches below the elbow and Watley was bitten all the way up the right side of his body.
``It hit Chuck first. I didn't even know what was going on,'' Watley said.
The shark chased Anderson all the way to shore, then came after Watley, who was about 80 to 100 feet out. He had seen Anderson stagger out of the water but thought he had just run into some jellyfish.
``It bit my thigh and would have taken a chunk out of me, but I hit it again,'' Watley said. ``I thought it might leave me alone, but it came at me again and again.''
``I would punch him, he would retreat, and then I would swim as fast as I could for about 5 to 10 seconds, but then I would have to turn around and face him again.
``He chased me all the way to shore.''
George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, said the men were probably attacked by a full-grown bull shark. They can be up to 11 feet long and weigh 500 pounds.
``Their teeth are designed to incise chunks out of their prey and shear off flesh, much like what happened to Mr. Anderson's arm,'' Burgess said.
Public beaches along the coast were reopened to swimmers at noon Saturday, but planes continued to fly over the coast, looking for large numbers of sharks or schools of baitfish close to shore. Even though the immediate danger has passed, Burgess cautioned people not to swim alone, especially at dawn and dusk.
Shark Survivor: "I Hit Back"
First Attack In Alabama Waters In 25 Years
Two Men Hurt; One Loses An Arm
June 10, 2000
GULF SHORES, Ala. (CBS) One of the men bitten by a shark at one of the Gulf Coast's most popular beaches says he survived by holding the shark's nose and hitting it, as it pushed him toward shore.
The attack early Friday prompted officials to close a 30-mile stretch of land at the height of tourist season.
Chuck Anderson, 44, a high school coach and vice principal, lost his right arm above the elbow. And Richard Watley, a 55-year-old Gulf Shores barber, was bitten on his right hip and right arm. They were among a group training for a triathlon when the shark attacked.
Watley said he survived because he refused to go down without a fight.
"I didn't know he was coming," Watley said Monday on the CBS News Early Show. "He came up beside me, you know, bumped me. Then when I looked down, I saw it was a shark. He was a big one."
The Orange Beach barber said he hit back.
"I would always be sure I had the shark by his nose to keep him from tearing me up because those teeth, they were just like machines coming after you," he said. "So I was keeping him away by holding his nose when he would charge me. Then every chance I would get is when I would hit him. And anyway, finally it worked out because each charge he would be pushing me in-shore instead."
Watley said he and the shark chased each other in to shore.
"Whenever the shark would break away, he would make his turn. I guess he would do a circle. I would swim as fast as I could and I'm just assuming it's probably a five to six-second burst I would get," he said. "I would always turn back to see if he was going to charge me again. Each time I would turn back, he was there. I mean, he was there! He was charging each time."
Early Show co-anchor Jane Clayson remarked it was just like the movie Jaws.
"Don't you know I was thinking of that," replied Watley.
Anderson's wife, Betsy Anderson, said her husband initially felt something underneath him.
"He thought it was a log or something," she said. "The next thing he remembered was the shark took his right hand. The only way he's alive is he pulled his arm out of the shark's mouth."
It wasn't immediately known what kind of shark attacked the men.
Clayson asked Watley if he would show his injuries on the television program.
"I would drop my pants but I don't want everyone to holler and scream," he said.
"Save it. This is a family show," replied Clayson.
Watley says he'll be back at Gulf Shores training for the triathlon.
"My buddy Chuck, he'll be back, too," Watley promised. "He'll be swimming with someone's flipper but he'll be back."
Beach Reopens After Shark Attack
June 10, 2000 Filed at 9:41 p.m. EDT
By The Associated Press
GULF SHORES, Ala. (AP) -- One of the Gulf Coast's most popular beaches reopened to swimmers Saturday, a day after Alabama's first confirmed shark attack in 25 years.
``The beach is packed, but there's not many people in the water,'' said Kasie Moore, a bartender at the Pink Pony Pub near where the attack occurred. ``They are all asking about it.''
The attack early Friday prompted officials to close a 30-mile stretch of land at the height of tourist season.
Chuck Anderson, 44, a high school coach and vice principal, lost his right arm above the elbow. And Richard Watley, a 55-year-old Gulf Shores barber, was bitten on his right hip and right arm. They were among a group training for a triathlon when the shark attacked.
Both men were in stable condition Saturday, according to a spokeswoman for South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley.
Anderson's wife, Betsy Anderson, said her husband initially felt something underneath him.
``He thought it was a log or something,'' she said. ``The next thing he remembered was the shark took his right hand. The only way he's alive is he pulled his arm out of the shark's mouth.''
It wasn't immediately known what kind of shark attacked the men.
Biologists planned to make periodic flights over the beach looking for sharks and large schools of fish throughout the weekend, said Vernon Minton, director of the marine resources division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Two Hurt in Apparent Shark Attack
Friday, June 9, 2000; 1:44 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press
GULF SHORES, Ala. –– Two swimmers were attacked Friday morning in the Gulf of Mexico, apparently by a shark, and one may lose his arm as a result.
Police closed a mile-long segment of beach until further notice after Chuck Anderson, a vice principal and coach at Robertsdale High School, and Richard Whatley, a barber, were bitten between 7:30 and 8 a.m.
George Burgess of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida said that the attack was the first in the Gulf this year and the first in Alabama waters in nearly 25 years.
Anderson was in serious condition and Whatley was in stable condition at South Baldwin Regional Medical Center in Foley. Both men were in surgery, spokeswoman Donna McFarland said.
Anderson will likely lose an arm as a result of the attack, she said. Whatley had puncture wounds.
It wasn't immediately known what kind of shark attacked the men. Bob Shipp, chairman of the marine science department at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, said it could have been a bull shark. The shark is known to frequent warm Gulf waters during summer months, he said.
Another shark attack closes Big Island shoreline
Another shark attack closes Big Island shoreline. A shark 6 to 8 feet long bit a mainland visitor who was swimming off Kona
By Gary Kubota
Wednesday, November 24, 1999
About a mile of shoreline fronting the Kona Village Resort and the Four Seasons Resort remained closed today until state officials assess the potential for another shark attack.
No shark was seen during a helicopter search this morning.
Officials planned to fly over the area this afternoon to look for sharks, before making a decision about whether to continue to close the near-shore waters.
A shark, estimated at 6 to 8 feet long, attacked a 51-year-old Rhode Island woman who was swimming off the Kona Village Resort yesterday evening.
The shark attack is the third shark attack on the Big Island this year and second in north Kona within two months.
The victim, identified as Laurie Boyett, was in satisfactory condition this morning at Kona Community Hospital after undergoing surgery.
Hawaii Civil Defense administrator Harry Kim said the county was working with state officials to conduct an aerial and ground observation of the ocean.
Boyett was swimming 300 yards off shore from the Kona Village Resort at about 5:20 p.m. yesterday, when she encountered a gray-colored shark that bit her on her right buttock, Big Island Police officer Joel Field said.
Field said Boyett injured some fingers as she used her hands to get away.
Boyett was swimming with her 17-year-old nephew, who was not injured.
Field said two employees from the resort heard Boyett and the boy's cries for help and used a small motor boat to get the woman and bring her ashore. A county rescue helicopter transported her to Kona Community Hospital.
Randy Honebrink, a member of the state's shark task force, said prior to the two incidents, there had not been a shark attack reported in Kona in 50 years. The last shark attack took place Oct. 1 when surfer Jesse Spencer, 16, was attacked off of the Old Kona Airport Park, several miles south of yesterday's incident. That attack also took place near dusk. Another attack took place in Hilo on July 21 when 43-year-old Griffith Yamaguchi was bitten near Honolii Bridge. There were two other attacks on Maui and another on Kauai this year. Honebrink said there are spurts in shark attacks, then usually a decrease to what people consider to be normal. "I don't think you can say statistically it makes a lot of difference," he said of the number of shark attacks this year.
Shark scare beaches open again
November 16 1999 at 11:07PM
All the beaches on the South Coast are open again following a shark attack at Umtentweni Beach at the weekend.
Beaches between Umzumbe and St Michael's were closed on Sunday after the attack on surfer Sean Grenfell, 35, who is recovering in hospital from several lacerations to his lower legs.
Beach reopens after shark attack
October 7, 1999
Get paid to surf the web!
Kona teen transferred to Honolulu hospital with arm injuries. State and local sources.
A 16-year-old Kona youth who was attacked by a shark Friday evening has been transferred to Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu where doctors were reported to be fighting to save his arm. The boy was surfing off Old Kona Airport State Park when he was attacked by a shark 6 to 8 feet long shortly before 6:30 p.m. Friday. A hospital spokesman said the boy's parents asked that information on his condition not be released, but television reports indicated he underwent surgery Saturday for serious injuries to his right arm. Department of Land and Natural Resources officials conducting a search for the shark Saturday at Old Kona Airport identified the teen-ager as Jessie Spencer. According to the Fire Department incident report, the shark grabbed the teen-ager's arm, but he was able to pull away and paddle to shore with his left arm. A surfing companion said he believed it was a tiger shark, DLNR officials reported. The injured boy was taken to Kona Community Hospital and was transferred to Queen's late Saturday morning. Kona police said the boy had severe lacerations on his upper right arm and a gouge in the lower part of the arm. The Fire Department statement said the boy's arm was "mangled." Hawaii County Civil Defense officials closed the shoreline Saturday from the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center to the area fronting Kona Bay Estates. The county helicopter conducted an aerial search for the shark, and agents from the DLNR Enforcement Division and Aquatics Division searched by boat and walking the shoreline, said DLNR Enforcement Division West Hawaii supervisor Charles Nahale. However, no shark was found Saturday, and officials said the park would reopen at 7 a.m. today. Authorities also advised tour boat operators and dive companies to keep their customers out of the water Saturday, Nahale said. It was the fourth shark attack in Hawaii this year, including two attacks off Maui. The last attack in Big Island waters was July 21 when a 43-year-old man said he was attacked by a shark while surfing off Honolii near Hilo. Griffith Yamaguchi had injuries to his thigh and buttocks. Before this year, the last confirmed Big Island shark attack was in 1972, when Eric Fotherby was bitten on the forearm by an eight-foot shark while spear fishing off Waimanu Valley. And the last confirmed West Hawaii attack was April 12, 1963 when Aiona Aka was bitten on the leg and foot while surfing at Awili in South Kona. A 12- to 15-foot shark was seen in the area. An unconfirmed attack was reported April 15, 1987, in Kailua Bay, when Daniel Kennedy was last seen swimming out to an anchored sailboat. His shorts, which bore the marks of shark teeth, were found at the bottom of the bay, but no other evidence could be gathered to confirm an attack. Despite more than 100 known shark attacks in Hawaii's waters since 1900, the Big Island has yet to record a single confirmed fatality caused to a shark during this century.
Italians Edgy After Shark Attack
Monday, September 27, 1999
ROME (AP) -- Italian fishermen ventured into the Adriatic with caution Monday, two days after a great white shark attacked a boat, chomping up a freshly caught tuna dangling over its edge.
The skipper of the ``Coca Cola,'' Elevio Mazzagufo, said the shark tried to take a bite out of his boat after lunching on the tuna he'd just reeled in.
``It looked like an elephant,'' he said. ``In 30 years as a fisherman, I've never seen anything like it.''
The great white appeared to be about 23 feet long, just 13 feet shorter than the ``Coca Cola'' itself.
``I shot at it with a speargun,'' said Mazzagufo. ``But the dart just bounced off its skin.''
A year ago, a sports fisherman caused a sensation in Italy when he caught a great white on video attacking a smaller shark right next to his boat.
The great white is a rare visitor to the Adriatic, but may have been lured by this season's unusually warm waters, reports said.
Shark Brings an Early End to This Novaquatic's Swim
By MARTIN BECK, Times Staff Writer
September 16, 1999
The Tiger shark was closing fast but the swimmer had no idea. Rick Reeder was in the water between Lanai and Maui in Hawaii, finishing a relay leg in the nine-mile Maui Channel Swim this month. Reeder was 25 yards from the escort boat when the boat's captain saw the shark moving toward Reeder, about 75 yards behind. The captain ordered the boat put in reverse and Reeder's teammates from the Irvine Novaquatics Masters Team started waving at the swimmer. Reeder was still unaware. "I saw them waving their arms and my first thought was that they're waving to encourage me," Reeder said this week. "When I got close, I lifted my head up and I heard someone yell, 'Get in the boat now, shark.' I put my face back down in the water and started to swim to the boat as fast as I could." Reeder, a captain with the Orange County Fire Authority, didn't have much time to think. "It did cross my mind," he said, "that I hope he investigates me before he eats me." The shark--at an estimated 15 feet, more than twice as long as the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Reeder--caught up fast; Reeder reached the boat with little time to spare. "We all grabbed for Rick, his legs and arms and everything," said Novaquatics team captain Scott Zornig, "and just as we pulled his feet out of the water, the shark made a beeline for him and probably came within five feet of him." The shark continued to circle the boat for about 15 minutes. The Novaquatics tried by radio to warn the other 57 boats in the race about the aggressive shark, but many boats had their radios turned off, Zornig said, so the warnings went unheeded. They decided to pull out of the race and warn other teams in person. Fifteen boats pulled their swimmers out of the water, including one woman who saw the shark pass under her, Zornig said. The Novaquatics--Zornig of Rancho Santa Margarita, Reeder of Orange, Craig Taylor of Laguna Niguel, Dan Sullivan of Irvine, Tom Landis of Camp Sherman, Ore., and Jim Fitzpatrick of Laguna Niguel--stuck with their decision and motored to the finish line at Kaanapali Beach.
Shark attacks man swimming with dolphins
August 1, 1999
By MARIKA LYNCH Herald Staff Writer
Michael Knowles came to the Keys to hunt lobster. He'll return home to Tampa with quite a fish tale, and the wounds to back his story.
The avid diver says a seven-foot bull shark bit him near the Middle Keys Monday evening, as he tried to swim along with a pod of dolphins.
Knowles, 43, in the Keys for the lobster mini-season, which begins today, told the U.S. Coast Guard he was cruising on a friend's 23-foot motor boat about 2 miles off Key Colony Beach when he spotted the dolphins, said Coast Guard Master Chief Robert McVey.
As soon as he jumped in to join them, Knowles saw a bull shark and tried to ward it off by kicking its head. At the same time he says another shark chomped his other leg, leaving five one-inch cuts just above his ankle.
Doctors sewed up the gashes Monday night at Fishermen's Hospital, where Knowles was resting in good condition Tuesday, said Susan Poland, hospital spokeswoman. Knowles declined interviews.
Said Poland: ``He can't wait to get out there and dive again.''
If he tries to dive with wild dolphins, however, he may be breaking the law. The Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act bans ``harassing'' dolphins, which means pursuing or annoying them to the point that it hurts them or changes their behavior, said Trev or Spradlin, a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Services. Violators face a $20,000 fine. Spradlin says swimmers should stay at least 50 feet away from dolphins and use binoculars to get a closer look.
Knowles won't be charged for Monday's incident, because the Coast Guard can't document any harassment, McVey said.
His wounds match the description of those caused by a shark, said George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.
Sharks often hang around with pods of dolphins, both looking for fish to eat in the early evening hours.
Knowles was bitten about 6:25 p.m.
If it indeed was a shark attack, it would be Florida's sixth this year, the 11th in the world, Burgess said.
He says the last unprovoked attack in Monroe County was off Key West in 1993, when a snorkeler was bit by a lemon shark.
Last year, a 16-year-old Illinois boy was bitten by a nurse shark off Marathon after he grabbed the shark's tail. The unrelenting shark wouldn't let go of the boy's chest, and stayed attached until the boy reached the hospital where doctors cut the animal's spine to kill it.
Burgess doesn't count that incident in his statistics, he said, because it was a provoked attack. The child taunted the animal. He puts that one in a different file, he said: ``S for Stupid.''
From The Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Shark bites Big Island man
Thursday, July 22, 1999
By Star-Bulletin Staff
A 43-year-old Big Island man was bitten by a shark yesterday off waters near Honolii Bridge near Hilo.
Battalion Chief Lloyd Nari- matsu of the Hawaii County Fire Department said firefighters responded to an alarm at 10:28 a.m. yesterday to a possible shark bite off Honolii.
Narimatsu said the man, identified by police as Griffith Yama-guchi, suffered a bite on his right thigh and buttock. The span of the bite was between 14 and 16 inches long, he said.
He was taken to Hilo Medical Center and was released yesterday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. "We think he was very lucky," said Robert Morris, chief executive officer of the Hilo Medical Center.
Narimatsu said the Fire Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed a mile-long stretch of the beach yesterday while helicopter and boat crews search for the shark, believed to be between 6 to 8 feet long.
The last shark attack on the Big Island was Aug. 17, 1972, according to DLNR officials.
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