The Worst Shark Attacks Ever Recorded
Are you interested in discovering the worst shark attacks on people ever recorded? Do you want to know more about these horrific stories? Then you should check out this article that covers the worst shark attacks in history. Sharks are one of the deadliest creatures in the ocean and are responsible for claiming around 40 lives a year. Only a couple of shark species are aggressive towards humans and attack as most sharks are harmless.
Sharks are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the ocean, and we are no match for these incredible sea creatures when they are hungry and ready to attack. If you have ever seen the film Jaws, you know that being trapped in the water with a giant shark isn't a good time, and the film created more fear among people who swim in the ocean, and for good reason. So if you are interested in discovering some crazy shark attacks, check out this article.
First Recorded Shark Attack In History
Sharks have been attacking humans since people have been swimming in the water, but the first official shark attack recorded happened in 1749. The shark attack victim was a British merchant named Brook Watson, who ended up falling off the ship that he worked on and was bitten by a giant shark that ended up getting away with his foot.
The 14-year-old Watson was saved by his fellow crewman, who fought off the shark and pulled Watson to safety. A painting was created depicting the horrible shark attack, which ended up being the first shark attack ever recorded in history.
Jersey Shore Shark Attacks
In 1916, Jersey Shore became the center of attention as sharks killed four people off the coast over a couple of days. This sent a shockwave through the community, and the whole country, as people were not used to dealing with deadly shark attacks. Three of the victims were in their mid-20s, while the last victim was just 12 years old.
The government put out an award to get rid of this deadly man-eating shark, and a couple of weeks later, a nine-foot shark was captured off the coast of Jersey Shore. These attacks would also inspire the book and film, Jaws.
USS Indianapolis Sinking
One of the worst shark attacks to take place in history was during World War II. In July 1945, the USS Indianapolis was struck by two Japanese torpedoes that ended up splitting the whole ship in half, which resulted in over 900 having to jump into shark-infested waters. Many of the men were trapped in the water as there weren't many survival boats for all the men to hop on.
Sadly, over 500 men were dead when rescuers showed up at the scene, and several were eaten alive by sharks. The 400-plus survivors have revealed that those four days were the worst days of their lives as there were men constantly being eaten alive.
One of the most horrific shark attacks happened to a teenage boy named Rodney Fox. Fox was one of the leading spearfishing champions in 1953 and was just 14 years old. When a great white shark viciously attacked him, Fox was competing for the championship in Australia. The shark grabbed him while he was underwater and pulled him deeper; that is when Fox decided to gouge out its eyes which luckily made the shark release him.
But the shark wasn't done and came back for another bite. Fox then used his arm to shove it down the shark's throat but ripped all the flesh off it. Surprisingly, Fox survived the incident, even though he was poorly mangled.
Pacific Coast Attacks In 1984
Over the span of 15 days, four people were attacked by sharks off the Pacific Coast in 1984. People saw several great white sharks during those two weeks, most likely the type of sharks responsible for the attacks. Everyone on the Pacific Coast was scared to even go into the water as the attacks were getting more prevalent.
When it comes to shark attacks in California, great white sharks are the most common that attack humans and are known to be killers due to their large size and aggressive behavior. You don't want to be in the water with one of these around.
Shirley Ann Durdin
Another horrific shark attack story happened in 1985 when Shirley Ann Durdin was taking a dive to collect scallops off the coast of Australia's Peake Bay. Durdin was looking for scallops when she encountered a 20-foot-long great white shark that grabbed her and tore her in half upon the first bite. Sadly, Durdin's husband and four children saw the whole incident happen.
Durdin's whole body ended up being eaten by the great white shark, and nothing remained of her when rescuers showed up. The Durdin family was devasted by the incident and never dared to swim in the ocean again.
Randall Fry and his buddy Cliff Zimmerman were diving along the coast of California in 2004 when the worst thing imaginable happened. The two were taking their usual dive when suddenly Zimmerman felt something huge pass by him in the water. He then realized that it was a massive great white shark and noticed that there was blood everywhere, and Fry was nowhere to be seen.
Zimmerman ended up swimming to the shore frantically and made it. Unfortunately, Fry was eaten by the shark, and his remains were found a day later off the coast. Zimmerman thought something like this would never happen to him and his friend.
In 2012, professional body-boarder David Lilienfeld was butchered by a great white shark off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. The 20-year-old Lilienfeld was going body boarding in the bay when a 16-foot-long great white shark attacked him. The massive shark attacked Lilienfeld three times before he hurried off, but the last bite was fatal as it ultimately bit off his right leg.
Unfortunately, the medical team didn't have time to stop the bleeding, and Lilienfeld died shortly after due to blood loss. A memorial has been made for the young man who loved to bodyboard by the bay where the incident happened.
In 1952, Barry Wilson and a group of friends were enjoying some swimming off the coast of California when disaster struck out of nowhere. Wilson, who was 17 at the time and a talented musician, ended up getting bitten by a great white shark right in front of his friends. The great white dragged Wilson several feet into the water before it let him go.
Sadly, Wilson's wound was so severe that he died from blood loss as soon as he reached the shore. This horrific shark attack scared people from swimming at California beaches for sometime.
Erich Ritter was one of the lucky ones regarding shark attacks. Ritter was known for his knowledge of sharks and has been featured in several television documentaries about sharks. In 2003, while Ritter was filming sharks for a show on Shark Week, he was attacked by a massive bull shark that took part of his calf. Ritter was able to get away safely and lived to tell the tale.
Ritter was filming these bull sharks because he wanted to prove that they weren't as aggressive as people thought, but boy was he wrong. The whole attack was also caught on film and is the most famous shark attack ever caught on film.
Heather Boswell was another lucky shark attack victim as she survived, but of course, not without some severe injuries. In 1994, Boswell was swimming off the coast of Chile with her friends that had a boat. While Boswell was swimming, a massive great white shark came out of nowhere and latched on to her leg.
The beast ended up dragging Boswell down several feet but eventually let her go. Luckily, her friends were nearby to help her into the boat, but the 17-year-old soon realized she was missing her leg. There was no sign of the great white after the attack and Boswell was thankful that she wasn't killed.
In 2013, Jana Lutteropp was enjoying a nice three-week vacation on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. The German tourist was taking in all the sights and decided to go snorkeling just off the coast of Palauea Beach. Sadly, this would be the last time that Lutteropp would do anything as she was attacked by an aggressive tiger shark that mauled off her right arm.
People saw the whole incident and were able to get to Lutteropp within a reasonable time but unfortunately, she ended up dying shortly after at the hospital due to blood loss.
In 2001, the Peltier family was enjoying the beach off the coast of Virginia when tragedy suddenly struck. Their amazing summer ended abruptly when a shark attacked their 10-year-old son David while he was playing with other children in the water. David was only standing in 4 feet of water when he was suddenly dragged underwater by a giant shark.
David's father was surfing nearby and was able to get to his son before the shark did more damage. Sadly, David ended up passing away due to a massive amount of blood loss.
In 2007, Todd Endris survived a devasting attack with some help from fellow sea mammals. Endris was surfing with his buddy off the coast of Monterey, California when a great white shark suddenly attacked him. The shark ended up ripping most of the skin off Endris's back and was making its way back to finish him off.
But luckily, a pack of dolphins saw what was going on and fended off the shark until Endris got to the shore safely. Endris was extremely grateful that a group of dolphins came to his aid, as well as his friend, who helped him with his wounds.
In 2015, Mick Fanning, an Australian professional surfer, was competing in a surf competition when he was abruptly bitten by a great white shark while cresting a wave. Fortunately, Fanning was instructed on how to deal with a shark attack and put his surfboard in between him and the shark. This trick ended up saving his life, and he amazingly only got away with a couple of scratches.
This is a great way to save yourself from a shark attack, and Fanning is grateful that he was informed about doing this whenever a shark attacked him. Fanning still surfs today but remembers that day every time he goes out.
In 2015, Elio Canestri was killed by a great white shark off the coast of the Indian Ocean. The 13-year-old was a surfing champion that lived on Reunion Island with his family where he practiced daily to become a professional surfer. Elio was hanging out with friends in the water when he was attacked by a great white shark that bit his arm and part of his chest.
The massive shark released him, and a boat was able to get to Elio in time before the shark finished him off. Unfortunately, Elio died from a large amount of blood loss shortly after.
Bethany Hamilton is another lucky survivor of a shark attack. Hamilton was only 13 years old when a tiger shark attacked her off the coast of Tunnels Beach. Hamilton was surfing with her best friend when suddenly a tiger shark bit her arm off. Hamilton stated that she didn't feel anything at first but realized what happened when she saw her arm dangling from her shoulder.
Luckily, Hamilton's friend saw the attack and helped her to shore in time for a doctor to tend to her wounds. Hamilton still surfs today and is one of the top female surfers out there.
In 1959, Robert Pamperin was part of a deadly shark attack that ended up spooking all the residents of San Diego from taking a swim in the ocean. Pamperin was snorkeling off the coast of San Diego's La Jolla Cove when he was abruptly attacked by a 20-foot-long great white shark that swallowed him up in a couple of bites.
Pamperin's friend was with him snorkeling and saw the whole incident He was utterly horrified that this massive shark ate his friend. There was nothing left of Pamperin's body, and authorities could only find his swimming fins.
In 1992, Bryan Adona was bodyboarding off the coast of Waimea Bay in Hawaii when a giant tiger shark attacked. Several people spotted a massive tiger shark in the area where Adona was bodyboarding moments before the young man went missing. The only thing found was Adona's bodyboard which had several teeth marks and blood.
Scientists could determine that the teeth marks were from a massive tiger shark and the type of shark that killed Adona. Adona's body was never found, which was a shock as tiger sharks aren't known to eat the whole body.
In 1994, James Robinson was diving off the coast of San Miguel Island, California, looking for sea urchins, when a great white shark abruptly attacked him. The 42-year-old was an experienced diver who dove in that location multiple times and was looking in his usual spots for sea urchins when he suddenly spotted a massive shark near him.
The great white ended up heading towards him and attacked him quickly with one bite. Robinson's friends saw what happened and were able to pull him on their boat. But unfortunately, it was too late for Robinson as he died from severe trauma.
In 2003, Deborah Franzman was taking a swim off the coast of Avila Beach, California, when she encountered a deadly great white shark. People on the beach saw the incident occur; Deborah was swimming alone next to a pack of sea lions when suddenly all the sea lions disappeared, and a vast shark appeared next to her.
The great white shark attacked Deborah, who was out of reach of anyone coming to her help. Sadly, Deborah was killed by the massive shark, and authorities never found her body.
Shark attacks happen worldwide, and the Mexican coast is a hotspot for great white sharks. In 2008, Osvaldo Valdovinos was surfing off the coast of Pantla Beach when a six-foot great white shark attacked him. Valdovinos had no time to react and was immediately bitten by the massive shark, who at first, bit at his leg and broke it, and then bit off the 21-year-old's hand.
Sadly, Valdovinos died shortly after from a massive amount of blood loss. Not too long after Valdovinos's death, an American tourist was attacked by a shark of a similar size, but luckily he didn't suffer any severe wounds.
Damjan Pesek is one of the lucky ones to survive a shark attack. In 2008, Damjan, a Slovenian fisherman, was spearfishing off the coast of Croatia when a giant shark suddenly attacked him. Damjan was swimming back to his boat with what he caught attached to him when the shark appeared out of nowhere and took a bite at his waist.
Damjan could fend off the shark attack using his speargun to stab the shark's gills. This was enough for the shark to let go, which gave him enough time to make it back to the boat. Damjan did survive the attack but it came at a price as his waist was mangled.
Doreen Collyer was someone that loved the ocean and taught at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. In 2016, Doreen went scuba diving off the coast of Perth when she was attacked and killed by a great white shark. The 60-year-old was an experienced diver that loved diving in open water and had never had an interaction with a shark before the incident.
A nearby fisherman spotted the great white shark that measured over 6 feet long, and there was also another attack on a surfer that wasn't too far away. Many people believe that it was the same shark that was attacking people.
Hawaii can be a beautiful place to enjoy the ocean, but people need to know that you aren't at the top of the food chain when you are out in the water. In 2013, Patrick Briney was enjoying his vacation in Maui and decided to go kayak fishing off the coast. While Patrick was fishing, he was attacked by a giant bull shark that ended up biting off his foot.
Patrick was with a couple of people who were able to help him to shore, but sadly, Patrick passed away due to massive blood loss. Most people that die from shark attacks almost always die from blood loss.
In 2005, Jamie Daigle and her best friend were enjoying their vacation in Destin, Florida, when disaster struck out of nowhere. The two young girls decided to go swimming about 200 yards off the coast when they suddenly saw a significant dark figure in the water approaching them.
Before they knew it, they saw a massive bull shark heading toward them fast and they immediately tried to get away, but the bull shark bit Jamie several times before disappearing into the deep. Jamie had several bite wounds all over her body and died as soon as she made it to shore from severe blood loss.
In 2015, Cristina Thies was out with her family enjoying their vacation on the Canary Islands when a giant silky shark attacked her. Cristina was swimming off the coast of Arinaga Beach, a popular spot for divers to swim, when a shark suddenly attacked her. The shark latched onto Cristina's hand but didn't manage to bite it off as Cristina was able to fight off the shark before help arrived.
Cristina only suffered a couple of deep cuts to her hand but was lucky that she made it out of the attack alive. This spooked Cristina at first, but she eventually went into the water again.
Sergei Zaloukaev And Natalia Slobodskaya
In 2001, Sergei Zaloukaev and Natalia Slobodskaya were attacked by a great white shark off the coast of Avon, North Carolina. The couple was taking a swim a couple of hundred yards off the beach when a massive great white shark suddenly attacked them. The two did their best to fight off the creature and made it to shore.
When Sergei and Natalia reached the shore, they realized what damage the great white shark had caused them. Sergei died from blood loss not too long later, and Natalia survived, but lost her left foot and was devastated that her boyfriend was gone.
In 2000, Thadeus Kubinski took his usual dive into the ocean when a giant bull shark attacked him. Kubinski was jumping from his home's dock in Boca Ciega Bay, Florida, which he did daily. Kubinski was only in 5 feet of water when the bull shark attacked him only a couple of seconds later.
Several people saw the massive bull shark dart towards Kubinski as soon as he jumped into the water. Sadly, Kubinski died from colossal blood loss after being pulled out of the water. Several of his neighbors were shocked to see a shark attack so close to their homes and questioned swimming in the bay after the incident.
In 1992, another tragedy struck when a 12-foot tiger shark attacked Aaron Romento off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Romento was bodyboarding about 100 yards off the beach when the massive shark attacked him. The tiger shark grabbed Romento by the leg and bit it three different times. Amazingly, Romento was able to get away from the enormous shark before it did more damage and made it back to the shore on his own.
Unfortunately, Romento died from blood loss, and his right leg was completely mangled. Romento's friend said that he saw the whole incident and saw that Romento didn't even see the massive shark coming.
In 2000, Shannon Ainslie was attacked by two great white sharks while surfing when he was just 15 years old. Shannon was surfing off the coast of South Africa's Nahoon Reef when two massive great whites attacked him. Shannon was competing in a local surfing competition when he was suddenly knocked off his board by a great white that grabbed him by the hand and pulled him underwater.
That is when Shannon realized another great shark was fighting over him and ultimately saved his life because it knocked the shark that bit him out of the way, which gave him enough time to escape. Shannon still remembers that horrific day but has never stopped surfing as it is something he loves.
In 2019, Jonathan Hernandez was spearfishing with some friends off the coast of Abaco Island in the Bahamas when a giant shark attacked him. Hernandez at first thought that he got hit by the boat as the amount of force was tremendous, but when he looked over, he saw that it was a shark that had taken a bite at his leg.
Hernandez was able to kick the shark away but realized that his calf was torn to shreds. Luckily, his friends were able to get Hernandez in the boat and used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.
In 2015, Sam Kellet was out spearfishing with his friends off the coast of South Australia when he was attacked and killed by a massive great white shark that left nothing of him except his speargun. Sam's friends witnessed the tragic attack when they were underwater as they heard screams from Sam's direction and noticed a giant shark attacking him.
Sadly, his friends could not do anything as they were several feet away. His friends were wholly devasted by the attack and thought twice about diving in those waters as their friend didn't stand a chance against the great white shark.
The Sinking of La Seyne
In 1909, the tragic sinking of La Seyne resulted in one of the worst shark attacks in history. The La Seyne was a French vessel that transported passengers to different islands in Singapore and was involved in the collision of the Onda, a British merchant ship. The two massive ships collided on a dark night, resulting in 101 people dying from the sinking of the La Seyne.
The people who managed to make it out of the ship jumped into the dark waters infested with man-eating sharks. Several people were immediately attacked and eaten by sharks. There were only 61 survivors off the La Seyne, many of whom were bitten by sharks several times.
Another early shark attack is the attack on Joseph Blaney, the first reported death by a shark off the coast of Massesschustes. The attack occurred in 1830 when Joseph, an experienced fisherman, was fishing on a small fishing boat when a giant great white shark attacked him. A nearby fisherman saw Joseph waving for help and noticed that he was missing one of his arms.
The fisherman started making his way for Joepsh and saw that the giant shark was trying to tip over the boat. Sadly, the fisherman wasn't able to make it in time to Joseph as the shark was able to overturn the boat and eat Joesph alive.
Mrs. Cracton And Mr. Mansfield
In 1849, Mrs. Cracton and Mr. Mansfield were killed by a shark off the coast of Pensacola. Mrs. Cracton was bathing in the water with her friend when she was suddenly attacked by a massive shark that grabbed her and dragged her underwater. The other woman frantically tried to help her friend but wasn't able to get to her.
A man named Mr. Mansfield was on the shore and immediately came to help the girls. He got the other woman out safely but went back into the water to try and save Mrs. Cracton. Unfortunately, he was killed by the same shark, and their two bodies were never found.
Five Japanese Fishermen Attacked In 1899
In 1899, the most unusual shark attack occurred when six Japanese fishermen were fishing for basking sharks off the coast of Monterey, California. The fishermen were able to hook one of these massive sharks and waited until the shark seemed exhausted to pull up to it. Once the fishermen were right next to the enormous shark, the shark struck out and destroyed one of the boats, killing two people in the process with its tail.
It then destroyed the other boat and pulled the wreckage underwater almost immediately. Out of the six fishermen, only one survived the horrific attack, which ended up being the first recorded basking shark attack in the United States.
In 2012, James Grant was enjoying some vacation time in New Zealand and went spearfishing with his friends off the coast of Colac Bay when a sevengill shark suddenly attacked him. Grant was in about 6 feet of murky water when he felt a tug on his leg and thought it was one of his friends playing a joke on him. But when he turned around, he saw a massive shark biting his leg.
Grant had quick instincts and grabbed his spearfishing knife to stab the massive shark. This was enough to fend off the shark, and Grant could safely make it back to shore. Grant even stitched himself up as he had prior training in the medical field and enjoyed a beer afterward.
In 2011, Nicole Moore survived a tragic shark attack that almost took her life. When disaster struck, Nicole was vacationing in Cancun, Mexico; she was enjoying the warm water while her friends were resting on the shore and noticed that two men on jet skis were yelling at her in Spanish.
Nicole, who is from Canada, didn't understand them and thought they were being friendly, but as they got closer, she realized they were trying to warn her of something. At that point, Nicole started heading for the shore but felt something grab her arm; it was a massive shark. Nicole survived the incident and is thankful that she was able to escape.
In 2015, Dave Quinlivan was attacked by a massive great white shark off the coast of Australia when he was ski paddling. Dave noticed that a pack of dolphins was spooked but thought that it was just him, but boy was he wrong. Not long after, Dave saw the shape of a giant shark ahead of him and he knew it was a great white shark.
The great white started heading towards Dave and attacked him moments later. The shark grabbed onto Dave's leg and started thrashing him about. Somehow Dave was able to get free of the great white and made it back to shore, where a medical team was waiting to tend to his wounds.
In 2001, Krishna Thompson was enjoying his 10th anniversary with his wife in the Bahamas when tragedy struck. Krishna decided to go on an early morning swim by himself when he found himself face to face with a massive great white shark. The shark grabbed Krishna by the leg and dragged him deep underwater. The shark released Krishna, and he was able to escape and make it to shore.
Krishna was rushed to the hospital immediately, where doctors had to amputate his leg as it was torn to pieces. Krishna still remembers the deadly attack and thanks God that he made it out alive.
In 2012, Ian Redmond was on his honeymoon with his wife when he was killed by a giant shark just ten days after his wedding. Ian was snorkeling off the coast of Anse Lazio when a massive bull shark attacked him. The first bite was fatal, and his finance was utterly devastated and didn't think that there would be sharks so close to the beach.
This was the second fatal attack that happened in the area as bull sharks have become quite a problem in the region. Bull sharks are just as scary as great whites and they can get up to a hefty size.
In 2012, a 28-year-old Hawaiian surfer named Joshua Holley was attacked by a tiger shark that almost claimed his life. Joshua was surfing at Ohau's North Shore when he was attacked by a massive tiger shark that grabbed onto his foot. Joshua had no time to think and started punching the shark in its face until it released him.
He got to the shore safely and was immediately taken to the hospital, where he got 42 stitches to fix up his foot. Joshua is lucky that he could fend off the shark, as he could have easily lost his life.
In 1964, Henri Bource was attacked by a giant great white shark off the coast of Lady Julia Percy Island in Australia. Amazingly, Bource survived this tragic attack but lost his leg because of it. He was 29 years old when the great white shark came out of nowhere and latched onto his leg.
Once the beast got a taste of his leg, it disappeared into the abyss, leaving Bource alone. Bource was able to get to his boat and was treated for his wounds in time as he suffered a lot of blood loss. He continued to dive for the rest of his life and made a special prosthetic leg for diving.
In 2018, Arthur Medici was swimming off the coast of Newcomb Hollow Beach in Massachusetts when a great white shark suddenly attacked him. Arthur was enjoying the beach day and decided to take a swim, but he didn't know that this would be the last time he went for one as a great white shark fatally bit him.
Medici was rushed to the hospital, but he was presumed dead when he arrived from a massive amount of blood loss. The attack only occurred a couple of days after someone else was killed by a great white shark in the region.
In 1999, Nahid Davoodabai and her husband were vacationing in Maui, Hawaii, and decided to go kayaking to take in the views. Little did they know that this would be the last time they were together as a tiger shark would soon kill one of them. Nahid was knocked out of her kayak and was struggling to get back on due to the choppy waters.
While Nahid was treading in the water, she was attacked by a massive tiger shark that bit off her arm. Sadly, Nahid could not get back into the kayak and died from a large amount of blood loss.
Tamara McAllister And Roy Jeffrey Stoddard
In 1989, Tamara McAllister and Roy Jeffrey Stoddard were kayaking off the coast of Malibu, California, when they were both attacked and killed by a shark. The two set off kayaking one morning but never came back. A search party was conducted as they thought the two might have been lost, but two days later, they found their bodies with large chunks taken out of them.
Experts examined the bite marks and confirmed that a great white shark was responsible for killing the couple. This was one of the worst shark attacks that happened in that area.
In 2010, Lucas Ransom was out with his friend Matthew Garcia body surfing off the coast of Los Angeles when tragedy struck. Garcia was only two feet away from his friend when a massive great white shark attacked him. Garcia saw that the shark grabbed Ransom's leg and dragged him underwater within seconds.
Ransom made it back to the shore but was severely mangled and died from blood loss shortly after. Garcia was devastated that his best friend had died right before his eyes, and he became weary of going back into the ocean because of the attack.
In 1984, Omar Conger was out swimming with his friend when a great white shark fatally attacked him. The two friends had been swimming off the coast of Santa Cruz, California, for about 30 minutes before Omar was attacked. His friend witnessed the shark strike Omar two times before he could get away.
Omar's friend helped him get to shore, but he died before he could reach land. Omar was wearing a black wet suit which could have attracted the shark as it might have thought he was a seal.