I was trying to think of a suitable blog to write for Halloween and considered writing about my top ten scary films or something like that, but when I heard the news of a recent fatal shark attack off Surf Beach in California, I realised that for me, there is nothing more terrifying than the thought of being attacked by a shark, particularly the great white variety. The chances of this happening to anyone is of course remote, but for a truly terrifying look at the global shark attack situation, here’s my very late blog – dum dum…dum dum dum dum… dum dum dum dum dum dum…
Following the recent California shark attack, where unfortunate Mr Francisco Javier Solorio Jr. became the latest fatal shark attack victim, I decided to find out how many shark attacks occur worldwide, and was surprised by the answer. Below are the worst cases that have taken place just in the last 12 months, most recent first. Let’s see where the most risky places to swim or surf are, and who has ended up as a fatal statistic for the ocean’s apex predator….and also those that have had a very lucky escape…
4th November 2012 – Marcelino Riglos, had his right foot and ankle bitten by a Tiger Shark while spear fishing in Hawaii.
30th October 2012 – Scott Stephens, 25, is resting in fair condition after emergency surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif. after sustaining multiple mid-torso bites from a White shark estimated at 9-to-10 feet long.
27th October 2012 – 51-year-old woman from California was attacked over the weekend by a shark off Makena Landing Beach Park on Maui
23rd October 2012 – Mr Francisco Solorio Jr fatally wounded in California
25th September – Brandon Tyler had a lucky escape when out surfing in Florida when he had his left arm bitten
10th September 2012 – Lucky escape for Kylie Maguire, 29, was bitten on the thighs and buttocks by what is believed to have been a three-metre Bull shark.
6th September 2012 – Another lucky escape for James Fyfe while out surfing in Florida. He lost so much blood he may have lot consciousness
26th August 2012 – In the last week of August, the body of Tiago Jose de Oliveira da Silva, 18, was found in the sea just south of Recife, in north-eastern Brazil. An autopsy ruled he had been killed by sharks. His death was the 56th shark attack in Recife in 20 years.
6th August 2012 – Luck escape for Fabien Bujon attacked by a Bull shark in the Reunion Islands. Witnesses said the shark had severed a hand and a foot from the victim, but he made it back to the beach by himself.
30th July 2012 – Lucky escape for Chris Myers. Massachusetts officials confirm it was a great White shark that attacked a swimmer off Cape Cod last week. Click on the link to hear the 911 call.
23rd July 2012 – Alexandre Rassica was fatally attacked in the Reunion Islands while out surfing
14th July 2012 – Ben Linden – bit of an unfortunate name – was fatally attacked by a massive White shark while out surfing in Western Australia.
If the above doesn’t scare you, these terrifying statistics from The SHARK ATTACK files will;
119 incidents with 17 fatal attacks
16 male, 1 female
Most horrifying – Peter Clarkson in Australia, consumed by two white sharks as the boat captain looked on.
98 incidents with 11 fatal
10 male, 1 female
Most horrifying – Henry Usimewa in Fiji, taken by a large shark in front of friends and family.
112 incidents with 14 fatal
13 male, 1 female
Most horrifying – French citizen Katrina Tipio in Egypt, bitten on the leg when surfacing, shark still biting her when she was pulled onto the boat.
It’s difficult to imagine what must go through a person’s mind when being attacked by a shark, I get jittery enough when just looking out into the deep blue sea when swimming or scuba diving, especially in some of the more exotic locations of the world, which is a rare occasion. I remember vividly arriving in Hawaii – on honeymoon – and being desperate to get into the water. I did, and followed two turtles as they swam off the rocky reef close to the hotel. The sea was deep and i thought about sharks, but not enough to put me off searching for the two turtles I’d seen. Looking back, i’m note sure if i’d be able to go swimming in the deep ocean again, even though it was close to a rocky reef. I think I have become more afraid with age however, despite watching Jaws for the first time when aged only 9.
This blog is for all those brave souls who go to the aid of shark attack victims, swimming out to help someone, knowing the apex predator is still lurking about beneath the ocean, and of course all the survivors of shark attacks, families and friends of those unlucky people listed that have been killed by the ocean’s most feared creature.
It’s not all bad news of course if you enjoy swimming, surfing and scuba diving. Despite the horrifying prospect of being attacked by a shark, according to Discovery News, the odds of you getting killed are of course not that great…
“Sharks always seem to be taking the rap as man-eating villains –- in the media, movies and books. So let’s get a little perspective. Your chances of being attacked by a shark are just one in 11.5 million, according to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File. On average, there are about 65 shark attacks worldwide each year; a handful are fatal. You are more likely to be killed by a dog, snake or in a car collision with a deer. You’re also 30 times more likely to be killed by lightning and three times more likely to drown at the beach than die from a shark attack, according to ISAF.
Even digging a sand hole is more dangerous…”
So, after reading this, what terrifies you?