20. Randy Fry
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, you’d never expect tragedy to strike, especially when you’re enjoying time with friends like Randy Fry was. In 2004, Fry and friend Cliff Zimmerman were diving off the coast of Mendicino, CA, when out of nowhere, a large shark aggressively approached the men and immediately attacked Fry. Zimmerman says all he heard was a “swoosh” and then the water filled with blood, according to sfgate.com. A search and rescue team found Fry’s body the morning after the attack and, from the bite marks and severed head, determined that it was a great white.
19. Terry Manuel
Another diver that tragically lost his life while doing what he loved is Terry Manuel. In 1974, in Southern Australia, Manuel was with his friend Talbot, who actually pulled him from the grasp of the great white. The shark struck Manuel at around 25 miles per hour which caused such serious injuries that he, unfortunately, bled out before help could reach him. Manuel was only 26 years old.
18. David Lilienfeld
David Lilienfeld was only 20 years old when he was fatally attacked by a shark during a family day at Kogel Bay in South Africa. The young bodyboarder was in the water with about six other surfers when the great white grabbed him by the right leg and shook him, as onlookers watched in horror while the young man screamed for his life. The shark continued to swim aggressively on the coastline for about 30 minutes while the body was removed from the rocks and the family tried to grasp the tragedy that just occurred.
17. Todd Endris
Todd Endris has a unique shark attack story because he not only survived the horrifying incident but he was saved by a school of dolphins. Endris was surfing at Monterey Bay’s Marina State Beach in 2007 when a 15-foot great white shark attacked him. Quickly after the initial strike, a school of dolphins appeared and surrounded him, saving him from certain death. Endris openly spoke out about how he truly believed the dolphins saved his life that day and shared his story with many news outlets over the years, including the Discovery Channel. The shark tore into his back and side, creating a gaping wound that needed 500 stitches and 200 staples to close. Unfortunately, in 2016, Endris died from wounds sustained from a car crash.
16. USS Indianapolis
For some reason, when I think of a shipwreck during wartime, like the USS Indianapolis in 1945, I automatically assume that the casualties lost their lives due to torpedoes used to strike the vessel, but unfortunately for some, the end wasn’t so quick. Out of a total of almost 1,200 men on board, 300 went down with the boat leaving roughly 900 stranded in the ocean for more than three days before their rescuers arrived. The problem was, only 321 survived long enough to be rescued. Due to dehydration, exposure, and you guessed it, SHARKS, almost 600 men lost their lives waiting for help. According to witnesses, oceanic white-tip sharks and tiger sharks are to blame.
15. Mick Fanning
Anyone who has witnessed a shark attack knows that it is one of the most horrifying and traumatic things to see, especially if the victim is someone you know. In 2015 many people bore witness to professional surfer Mick Fanning’s attack when it was filmed live during a surfing competition in South Africa. Luckily, Fanning escaped without any injury because he was able to shield the shark with his board and punched it in the back, scaring it off. However, due to the incident, the rest of the event was canceled, potentially saving lives. Fanning’s attack will go down in history because it is one of the only incidents of its kind to be caught on tape while millions watched in horror.
14. Elio Canestri
It’s always hard reporting a death, but it’s especially tragic when it’s a child. 13 year-old teen surfing champ Elio Canestri tragically lost his life on a sunny afternoon when he went surfing with friends. The champ was always aware of the danger of sharks and even reassured his mother in a note that he wouldn’t surf unless there were spotters. While Canestri was in the water the shark bit his right arm and stomach, fatally wounding him before a rescue boat could reach him. The area surrounding Reunion Island has been deemed unsafe for water activities due to various attacks following this tragic incident.
13. La Senye
Another vessel that went down is the La Senye in 1909 when it collided with a British Indian steam navigation ship due to thick fog. The ship went down in a little over two minutes and 101 people were left clinging to the wreckage, only to then be devoured by sharks! One of the most gruesome attacks on this list due to the mass number of people that were eaten alive at the same time and a very real reminder that we are not the top predator when in the ocean.
12. Omar Conger
Omar Conger was a 28-year-old abalone diver who tragically lost his life when he was viciously attacked by a 16-foot great white shark while free diving one afternoon with friend Chris Rehm. What’s most terrifying is that the shark went after Conger, shaking him back and forth, and then suddenly released him and went for Rehm. Luckily, there was a friend in the boat that pulled him to safety where they quickly realized Conger had lost his life. Within a 15 day period of time, four divers were attacked in the same area that Conger was attacked.
11. Ian Redmond
Newlyweds Ian Redmond and Gemma Houghton were honeymooning off the coast of Seychelles where they were reassured there were no sharks. Redmond was snorkeling in fairly shallow water when the shark attacked him. The entire attack was witnessed by his wife as she lay on the beach, traumatizing her forever. Richmond was pulled to shore and taken to a nearby hospital where he later died from blood loss. Richmond was known as a brave, strong, and wonderful man, which made his terrifying last moments even harder to grasp.
10. Rodney Fox
Rodney Fox is one of the luckiest shark attack victims because he survived his attack, with a gruesome scar as a reminder. The Southern Australian Spear Fishing Champ was attacked in 1963 and was terribly wounded and treated with almost 500 stitches. The crazy thing is, almost his entire left side was ripped open, exposed, and he STILL has a peace of shark tooth embedded in his wrist. He is known for his immense knowledge about sharks and has made several shark documentaries.
9. Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton is a shark attack survivor and a professional surfer that proved that nothing can hold her back, as she continues to be an inspirational role model for many. On October 31st, 2003, 13 year old Bethany went for a surf at Tunnels Beach, in Kauai, when she was attacked by a tiger shark. The teenager was laying on her board with her left arm dangling off the edge and the shark severed it near the shoulder. Luckily, her best friend’s father was on the beach and he was able to stop the bleeding until she arrived at the hospital where she laid in recovery for over a week. She returned to surfing only one month after the attack and continues to surf today.
8. Shirley Ann Durdin
Shirley Durdin went to Peake Bay, Australia, for a family day in 1985, where she tragically lost her life. The mother of four was simply taking a swim in shallow waters that were estimated to be around 7 feet deep when a giant great white ripped her in half with one bite. The attack was short and violent, with a headless torso being the only thing left of the young mother. Quickly after witnesses saw the remains in the water, the shark came back and ate what was left, making it one unique incident. Usually, shark’s aren’t interested in swallowing human flesh once they’ve realized what it is, which is why Durdin’s case is so shocking.
7. David Borman
David Borman’s story is also a tragic one. The 19-year-old was body boarding in Cape Town when he was attacked and thrown into the air by a massive shark. The boy was rescued and brought to shore but, despite help from fellow surfers, he died within minutes due to massive blood loss. Trained rescue divers noted that the bite was so large that there was no way he could have survived—you could even see into his body. Borman surfed in a black wetsuit, black fins, and a black-colored board, prompting people to suggest that the shark confused him for a seal.
6. Marcia Hathaway
Marcia Hathaway was a famous actress in the 1960s. One sunny afternoon, she was enjoying a day at Sugarloaf bay with her fiance right before a shark attacked her. The shark attacked her right thigh, severing most of the muscle and tissue from the bone. Her fiance was able to free her from the jaws of the shark and, surprisingly, Hathaway was extremely calm during the incident, letting people know she was not in pain and that God would take care of her. She originally thought she had been bitten by an octopus, but soon realized it was a shark. As if her luck couldn’t get any worse, the ambulance that was supposed to take her to the hospital broke down before it could even get to the main road. Many beachgoers attempted to push the van to no avail and, by the time another was sent, she died from blood loss.
5. Robert Pamperin
When most of us think about a nice double date on the beach, the end scenario doesn’t usually end with someone being eaten by a shark. For Robert Pamperin and friends, that’s EXACTLY what happened in the summer of 1959. Pamperin and his pal Gerald Lehrer are searching for abalone off the coast of California while their girlfriends enjoy the sun on the beach–all of a sudden, Pamperin is heard screaming for help and seen unusually high out of the water. Within an instant, everyone realized that a giant great white shark had Pamperin in his mouth and was attempting to swallow him whole. The shark then dove to deeper water and their friend was never seen again.
4. Attacks On The Jersey Shore
The Jersey Shore is known to many as one of the best places to vacation in the US, and it’s gotten quite the wrap in the last decade for being a party destination thanks to the MTV show “Jersey Shore”. However, before the shore was known for clubs and all night partying, it was known for something more sinister. In 1916, within a two-week period of time, four people were dead and one injured after multiple shark attacks. This period of time was the inspiration for the movie “Jaws” because a widespread fear of sharks hit the nation.
3. Heather Boswell
Heather Boswell is a teenager in 1994, swimming off the coast of Easter Island with a group of friends—all of a sudden, one of them is bitten by a 14-foot shark, which prompted her to quickly start swimming for a nearby boat. Before she could make it to safety she felt the shark grab her leg and then she felt a pop! When she was pulled into the boat by friends, she realized the extent of the injury, as she saw her leg was missing.
2. Brook Watson
Shark attacks have been happening for centuries and will continue as long as they are the top oceanic predator. In 1794, a 14-year-old merchant sailor became the first ever recorded shark attack when he was swimming off the coast of Cuba. The shark attacked him twice, taking off his right foot, and just before it could strike again crew members from his ship pulled him to safety. It’s a miracle he was able to fully recover and live a normal life, considering the medical abilities at the time.
1. Barry Wilson
Barry Wilson, another teenage shark attack victim, came to battle with an enormous great white in 1952. The young boy was swimming calmly before beachgoers noticed he was frantically looking around with a look of sheer terror on his face. Soon he was screaming for help when the water around him turned red and the shark dragged him back underwater. Rescuers tried for 30 minutes but, unfortunately, Wilson died due to blood loss.