Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Woman in Her 60's Killed in Shark Attack in New South Wales Australia

Tathra Beach/Wharf area in New South Whales
A woman has been killed in a shark attack near Tathra Beach in New South Wales, Australia. The victim, who was in her 60's, was swimming in a group while training for a swim event. The victim had broken away from the group when the attack occurred at around 8:20am on Thursday, April 3rd, 2014.

Emergency officials and surf-lifesavers responded to the scene and were working to retrieve the victim's remains from the water.

The type of shark involved in the attack is not known and the beach has been closed until further notice.

News Accounts:
-Woman killed in Tathra Beach shark attack on the NSW south coast - Perth Now News
-A woman has been killed in a shark attack at Tathra Beach on the NSW south coast - 9 News
-Woman dies in Tathra shark attack during morning swim - Sydney Morning Herald
-Woman in her 60s killed in shark attack at Tathra on NSW south coast - The Australian
Photo credit: Bonzle

Sunday, March 23, 2014

72-Year-Old Man Killed in South African Shark Attack

NSRI file photo - sea rescue training
The South African National Sea Rescue Institute reports that a 72-year-old Austrian tourist was killed in a shark attack while swimming in Port St Johns on Saturday 22 March 2014.

The fatal attack occurred at around 3:00pm while the victim was swimming at Second Beach. He was part of a tour group which included his wife.

NSRI Port St Johns volunteer sea rescue crew responded using a a sea rescue craft and the victim's body was recovered and transferred to the Forensic Pathology Services.

The type of shark involved in the attack has not been determined.

Information/file photo from NSRI.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Video: Sand Tiger Shark Spotted with Massive Head Injury

Over the years, I've seen some incredible images of sharks with what look to be fatal injuries continuing to move about normally.

Great white injury -
Just last year, Pete Thomas from Grind TV, wrote an article about the amazing healing powers of great whites. In the article, he posted before & after pics of a great white with a severe head wound.  The after shots showed that the shark had healed itself within months from a seemingly fatal wound.

In studying sharks ability to heal from severe wounds, world-renowned shark expert Professor Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D states that the ability of sharks to "heal very quickly from external wounds is remarkable." According to Dr. Shivji, this healing proficiency is partially attributed to the fact that sharks continually shed and replace body parts including teeth and fin spines.

Sand tiger shark with severe head wound
I came across this video the other day from North Carolina and it showed a sand tiger shark with an awful head wound. The shark was missing a massive chunk from its head yet it appeared to move about normally. The videographer stated that it appeared that the shark had been bitten and that the brain was exposed.  He and his fellow divers affectionately named the shark "Brainy."

It is unknown if the shark was ultimately able to recover from the severe injury but we can hold out hope considering the before & after photos of the great white.

The video was posted by Brad Stegmann from an August 2012 dive trip to the graveyard of the Atlantic off the NC coast.
Photo is screenshot from video.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Video: Caribbean Reef Shark Becomes Aggressive Towards Diver Culling Lionfish

Diver fends off aggressive Caribbean reef shark  
While culling lionfish off of Frank Sound in the Cayman Islands, diver Jason Dimitri was forced to fend off a Caribbean reef shark that had become overly interested in his catch.

Jason states that the shark appeared out of nowhere in about 70 feet of water and "scared the crap" out of him. The shark made several aggressive moves towards Jason and he was forced to use his Hawaiian Sling to strike at the shark.

One of Jason's Facebook friends (Michael S.) accessed the situation this way: "Nice job handling that situation. Add shark fencing to your resume."

Jason notes that he returned an our later and retrieved the bucket and that all the lionfish were still inside.

Lionfish are an invasive species in the Caribbean.  Their numbers are mushrooming as they continue to overrun the reef ecosystem.  Lionshis are a ravenous species and will consume anything that they can fit into their mouths and will eat up to three times their own body weight.

In a continuing effort to protect the Cayman Islands ecology, the Department of the Environment has asked dive operators to cull lionfish from Cayman reefs whenever possible

Key points from the Youtube video: 41 second mark and the 1:30 mark.
Photo is video screenshot

Friday, March 14, 2014

Surfer Bitten on Foot by Wobbegong Shark in Australia

Mike Porter shows swim fin damage from shark bite.
40-year-old Mike Porter was bitten on the foot by what is believed to be a Wobbegong shark.  The incident took place on Wednesday, 03/12/2014, off Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia.

Porter was in the water photographing surfers while wearing swim fins.  He had ducked under a wave and shortly afterwards felt a shark latch onto his foot.  He immediately began punching the shark until it released him.

With the assistance of a nearby surfer, he made his way back to shore where some off duty lifeguards helped bandage his foot.  Porter then drove himself to the hospital where he received eight stitches.

Wobbegongs, commonly referred to as carpet sharks, are not normally suspects in shark bite incidents but like any other wild animal, they will bite if they feel threatened.  Porter described the incident as a "misplaced nibble" and has every intention of returning to the water once fully healed.

News Accounts:
-VIDEO: Shark bite 'more of a misplaced nibble' - Port Macquarie News
-Port Macquarie man threw punches in the air after shark attack - Daily Telegraph
Photo from video.