Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19 October 22, 2010 Great white shark Ransom died after a great white shark pulled him off his bodyboard just before 9 a.m. about 100 yards (91 m) off Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California. He suffered the loss of his left leg, resulting in massive blood loss. On October 25, 2010, the Santa Barbara County coroner confirmed the species as great white after conferring with shark experts from the Los Angeles-based Shark Research Committee. The shark that attacked Ransom is believed to have been 17–18 feet (5.2–5.5 m) long, weighing approximately 4,000 pounds (1,814 kg).
Stephen Howard Schafer, 38 February 3, 2010 Bull shark Attacked while kitesurfing at approximately 4:15 p.m. about 500 yards (460 m) off an unguarded section of a beach south of Stuart Beach in Martin County, Florida. Authorities initially thought that multiple sharks may have been involved in the incident due to reports by rescuers that he was surrounded by sharks; the Martin County medical examiner's office concluded that he died from massive blood loss from a leg wound.
Richard A. Snead, 60 September 12, 2009 Unconfirmed Died while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean at twilight off the beach in the Whale Head Bay area of Corolla, North Carolina, near mile post 4½. His body was found washed up on the beach in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. Final autopsy results, released on January 5, 2010, concluded that Snead's death appeared to be from drowning. This conclusion conflicted, however, with an initial autopsy conducted at East Carolina University which said that Snead died of shark bites.
David Roger Martin, 66 April 25, 2008 Great white shark Killed at approximately 7:20 a.m. while swimming with a group of eight other triathletes off a beach in Solana Beach, California. The victim was bitten across both thighs.
Jamie Marie Daigle, 14 June 25, 2005 Bull shark Killed while swimming with a friend on boogie boards about 200 yards (180 m) off a beach in Walton County, Florida, 8 miles (13 km) east of Destin, Florida. Witnesses estimated the shark was 6–8 feet (1.8–2.4 m) long.
Randy Fry, 50 August 15, 2004 Great white shark Killed while diving for abalone with a friend in 15–20 feet (4.6–6.1 m) of water 150 feet (46 m) from shore off Mendocino, California near Kibesillah Rock. His headless body was recovered the next day; his head washed ashore 2 miles (3.2 km) north on September 3. The bite radius was 18 inches (46 cm), allowing experts to extrapolate that the shark was 16–18 feet (4.9–5.5 m) long.
Willis R. McInnis, 57 April 7, 2004 Tiger shark Attacked while surfing off Pohaku Park, Maui, Hawaii. He died a short time after the attack as a result of blood loss from severe wounds to his right thigh and calf.
Courtney Marcher, 22 April 4, 2004 Unconfirmed, possibly a tiger shark Marcher disappeared while surfing at Velzyland, the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii at approximately 8:45 a.m. Her undamaged surfboard was found 3 miles (4.8 km) off Kaena Point by fisherman three days later, 18 miles (29 km) north of her last known location and consistent with currents. Unusual serrated markings on the board's ankle leash were suggestive of shark involvement, but analysis by the state Shark Task Force proved inconclusive, with experts divided as to what the marks represented. Police reported that Marcher had a history of seizures and may have run into trouble in the water, although she had been taking medication to control epilepsy and had no recent history of illness. On the day she vanished wave faces averaged 6 feet (1.8 m), but she was described as healthy and a strong swimmer.
Deborah Blanche Franzman, 50 August 19, 2003 Great white shark Franzman was attacked at approximately 8:15 a.m. while swimming in 15–20 feet (4.6–6.1 m) of water 75 yards (69 m) off Avila Pier, Avila Beach, California. She was bitten on the left hip and lower right leg by a shark estimated to be 15–18 feet (4.6–5.5 m) long. According to witnesses, Franzman was swimming with seals alongside a line of buoys in a full wetsuit before the animals "suddenly scattered." Franzman screamed for help after the shark struck twice and swam off, but apparently lost consciousness and drifted face-down in the water before life guards pulled her to shore, by which time she had died of blood loss. Her wounds included a severed femoral artery. Franzman was only the second shark-related fatality in San Luis Obispo County history since the April 1957 death of Peter Savino.
Eric Reichardt, 42 September 16, 2001 Unconfirmed, possibly a bull or tiger shark This death was officially classified as a drowning by the Broward County, Florida medical examiner's office; however, it is listed as a fatal shark attack by the International Shark Attack File. Drowned while diving on the wreck of the Ronald B. Johnson in 270 feet (82 m) of water 2 miles (3.2 km) off Pompano Beach, Florida fighting off a shark. His diving regulator may have fallen out of his mouth causing him to drown.
Sergei Zaloukaev, 28 September 3, 2001 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or tiger shark Killed while swimming with his girlfriend in the surf off Avon, Hatteras Island, Dare County, North Carolina; his girlfriend, Natalia Slobodskaya, was severely injured in the attack but survived.
David Peltier, 10 September 1, 2001 Unconfirmed, possibly a bull shark Killed while surfing with his father and brothers at Sandbridge Beach, south of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Thadeus Kubinski, 69 August 30, 2000 Bull shark Killed while swimming in Pinellas County, Florida. Witnesses said Kubinski had jumped into the water from the dock behind his home for his daily swim and was splashing vigorously. The shark raced toward him with its dorsal fin out of the water. He died from massive blood loss and organ damage before rescuers could get to him. The shark was estimated to be 9 feet (3 m) long and weigh 400 pounds (181 kg).
Nahid Davoodabai, 29 March 18, 1999 Unconfirmed, presumed tiger shark Unconfirmed fatal attack in channel waters off the west coast of Maui, Hawaii. The victim's husband, Manoucher Monazzami, stated to authorities that he and his wife were blown offshore while kayaking in late the afternoon. Their double kayak capsized repeatedly in rough channel waters, and Davoodabai was soon unable get back onto the kayak due to fatigue. She was attacked at dusk by a "large shark," losing her arm. Monazzami was unable to control his injured wife's bleeding or keep her body on the kayak due to ocean conditions. Monazzami was found two days later on nearby Kahoolawe island with the kayak, paddles, and a life jacket. His wife's body was never recovered. Some investigators did not believe this version of events.
James Willie Tellasmon, 9 November 21, 1998 Tiger shark Killed while swimming off Ocean Beach, Jaycee Park, Indian River County, Florida. His torso and legs washed up on the beach the next day. His arms and head were never recovered. The nature of the wounds allowed experts to conclusively establish that the shark was a tiger shark, about 6 feet (1.8 m) long.
William Covert, 25 September 13, 1995 Bull shark Scuba diver presumed killed by a 10–12-foot (3.0–3.7 m) foot bull shark near Alligator Reef off Islamorada, Monroe County, Florida. His body was never recovered.
James Robinson, 42 December 9, 1994 Great white shark Killed while diving for sea urchins off Harris Point, San Miguel Island, California. The shark was estimated to be 16–18 feet (4.9–5.5 m) feet long.
Michelle von Emster, 25 April 16, 1994 Great white shark Killed while swimming off Point Loma, San Diego, California. The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled that she was killed in a shark attack; however, some in the law enforcement community have questioned this conclusion and feel that she may have been murdered and dumped in the Pacific Ocean. Her leg was bitten off by a great white shark.
Jim Broach January 31, 1994 Tiger shark Killed while surfing at Velzyland on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Daniel McMoyler December 1993 Tiger shark On January 11, 1994, his remains washed up on the beach at Waipio, Hawaii. He is thought to have been killed by an 8-foot (2 m) tiger shark while surfing sometime during the previous month.
Aaron A. Romento, 18 November 5, 1992 Tiger shark Romento was attacked and killed while bodyboarding at 9:45 a.m. in shallow, clear water approximately 90 feet (27 m) from shore off Keʻeau Beach Park, Oahu, Hawaii. His right leg was severely bitten in three places by a 10–12-foot (3.0–3.7 m) tiger shark, and he died of blood loss a short time after swimming to shore.
Bryan Adona, 29 February 19, 1992 Tiger shark Presumed killed in the late afternoon by a tiger shark when he did not return from bodyboarding, west of Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. There were no witnesses to the attack; however, his body board was found the following morning with a 16-inch (41 cm) crescent-shaped piece missing that experts said was made by a large tiger shark. Numerous witnesses, including the last person to see Adona alive, reported seeing a large shark in the vicinity prior to the attack.
Martha Joy Morrell, 41 November 26, 1991 Tiger shark Fatally attacked around 9 a.m. while snorkeling 100 yards (100 m) from shore on west side of Maui, Hawaii at Olowalu, less than a mile from Camp Pecusa. The attack by the 8–11-foot (2.4–3.4 m) tiger shark occurred in 10–15 feet (3.0–4.6 m) of water and was witnessed by victim's snorkeling partner and groundskeeper. Morrell's body was recovered and later autopsied at Maui Memorial Hospital by the County Coroner. Injuries included amputation of left arm at the shoulder, right forearm, left leg above the hip joint, and right foot/lower leg.
Suk Kyu (Steve) Park November 19, 1991 Tiger shark Victim was swept out to sea by a large wave while fishing from the rocky coastline at Maliko Point, Maui, Hawaii at around 4:30 p.m. Described as very healthy and a strong swimmer, Park was treading water before signaling his son to call for help. Rescue arrived about 30 minutes later, by which time the victim had disappeared. His body was never recovered, although his shorts and shirt were discovered the following morning by rescue divers with large portions missing from the left side, consistent with an attack by a 12-foot (3.7 m) tiger shark.
Roy T. Tanaka February 17, 1990 Tiger shark Victim was scuba diving and spearing parrotfish with his partner, Jake Hernandez, at a depth of 40 feet (12 m), about 600 feet (180 m) from the shore. The victim vanished around 9:30 p.m. at Mokapu, near the Marine Corps Air Station. Diving equipment was later found. The next day at approximately 3 p.m., a floating body (which was missing its left arm) was sighted from a helicopter in the waters between Mānana Island and Makai pier. Several large sharks, apparently reacting to the helicopter's presence, proceeded to devour all but the body's torso and legs before it could be retrieved.
Ray Mehl, Jr. October 14, 1989 Tiger shark Victim was scuba diving with a partner at a depth of 27 feet (8.2 m), about 750 feet (230 m) from shore near the HECO power plant at Kahe Point, Oahu, Hawaii. The victim had been in the water for 10–15 minutes before vanishing around 4:30 p.m. His partner conducted a search of the area (water visibility was around 30 feet (9.1 m)), but could not locate Mehl. The following morning a decapitated body was spotted by rescue divers 200 feet (61 m) west of Mehl's last known location, but before it could be retrieved a large tiger shark suddenly appeared and proceeded to devour what remained of the body. Mehl's partner noted that parrotfish had been exhibiting "unusual behavior" just prior to his disappearance.
Tamara McAllister, 24 January 26, 1989 Great white shark Killed while kayaking off the coast of Malibu, California with her boyfriend, Roy Jeffrey Stoddard. McAllister's body was found floating face down two days later with large sections from her legs and buttocks missing; no trace of Stoddard was ever found.
John P. Martin, 38 September 13, 1988 Bull shark Killed while snorkeling around Shell Island near Panama City, Florida. A 10-foot (3 m) long bull shark caused fatal thigh and hand wounds.
Avery Goo April 15, 1988 Unconfirmed Victim's 21-foot (6.4 m) powerboat capsized in turbulent water off the coast of Waihee, Maui, Hawaii. Pieces of human flesh consisting of stomach, intestines, and pancreas washed up along the Waihee shoreline several days later.
Daniel Kennedy April 15, 1987 Unconfirmed Presumed killed by a shark while swimming out to an anchored sailboat near Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. While his body was never recovered, his swim trunks were found bitten in half on the sea floor.
Levi Chandler April 20, 1986 Unconfirmed Victim was fishing from the rocky shore at Kalihiwai Point, Kauai, Hawaii before falling into the water and disappearing. Police divers searching the area encountered a large shark swimming in the vicinity and retrieved floating pieces of clothing and human flesh. The victim may have drowned before being consumed.
Male diver, 67 August 1985 Unconfirmed Presumed killed by a shark in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. Body not recovered. Some of his equipment — a diving regulator, swim fin, and bathing suit — were recovered, showing teethmarks.
Omar Conger, 28 September 15, 1984 Great white shark Conger was attacked at 8:30 a.m. while free-diving for abalone with a friend, Chris Rehm, 33, in 15 feet (4.6 m) of water about 164 yards (150 m) from shore near Pigeon Point, between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz, California. The men had been in the water for 20 to 30 minutes before the attack occurred. Water conditions were calm, but visibility was less than 3.3 feet (1 m). Conger was struck twice, the shark initially thrashing and pulling him underwater before resurfacing and swimming away. Rehm pulled Conger onto an inflatable surf mat, but Conger bled to death before they could reach shore. Injuries to Conger's thighs were extensive (both femoral arteries were severed) and his hands and buttocks were also severely bitten; the wounds suggest an attacking great white about 14–16 feet (4.3–4.9 m) long. Conger's black wetsuit may have increased the likelihood the shark mistook him for a seal.
Lewis Archer Boren, 24 December 19, 1981 Great white shark Boren was attacked on December 19 while surfing alone at South Moss Beach, Spanish Bay, Monterey, California. He was last seen by friends at approximately 2:00 p.m. The next day two surfers stumbled upon Boren's kneeboard, which had washed ashore at Asilomar State Beach with an 18-inch (46 cm) crescent bite taken out of one side; the board's missing piece was found nearby. Analysis of the bite mark showed the presence of imbedded great white teeth fragments. At 11:00 a.m. on December 24, Boren's body was spotted by a park ranger near Pacific Grove, approximately 0.62 miles (1 km) from the attack site. It is believed that Boren, who had been wearing a dark wetsuit, had been lying on his yellow kneeboard in 10 feet (3 m) of water just beyond the break point, when the great white struck from the left side, biting through both Boren and his board. Water conditions were rough, with average temperatures for that time of year and excellent visibility. Boren was bitten once, his massive wound extending from beneath his left armpit to just above the hip, and stretching more than halfway across his body. The attacking shark is estimated to have been 17–19 feet (5.2–5.8 m) long.
Mark Meeker, 26 September 15, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Killed while swimming between Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key in Tampa Bay, Manatee County, Florida. Meeker was found dead the next day. He had taken off his bathing suit in order to use the drawstring as a makeshift tourniquet on his right calf.
Christy Wapniarski, 19 August 10, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark A catamaran she was riding on had capsized the night before off Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida. She was presumably killed by a shark while attempting to swim to shore at daybreak.
Roger B. Garletts May 21, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Disappeared while scuba diving and spearfishing at a depth of 60–80 feet (18–24 m) in murky, choppy water at Haena Beach Park, Kauai, Hawaii. His recovered dive gear and shredded wetsuit, which bore numerous tooth marks, were suggestive of a fatal shark attack.
Unidentified male 1979 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Disappeared while fishing from shore at South Kohala, Oahu, Hawaii. Police divers only recovered the elderly man's severed hand and a flashlight.
Danson Nakaima 1976 Unconfirmed Presumed killed while scuba diving for black coral at a depth of 180 feet (55 m) off Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. Approximately 30 large sharks were later seen near his partially-devoured remains.
Stephen C. Powell July 16, 1976 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Killed by a shark while scuba diving off Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii. The lower portion of his body was recovered.
John Carter, 17 July 20, 1974 Unconfirmed Killed by a school of small sharks while swimming in the Back River on the southern end of Savannah Beach, Chatham County, Georgia.
Billy Horne, 10 July 2, 1974 Oceanic Whitetip Shark While adrift after the yacht he was in caught on fire and sank, he was killed by a shark in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
Rodney Temple October 14, 1972 Oceanic whitetip shark (two) Temple was scuba diving with partners Bret Gilliam and Robbie McIlvaine in calm 80 °F (27 °C) water with 150 feet (46 m) of visibility some 300 yards (270 m) from shore. The experienced divers were retrieving research samples from Cane Bay, Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. At a depth of 210 feet (64 m) they noted two oceanic whitetips circling them. Gilliam and McIlvaine began ascending to the surface first, momentarily decompressing on a reef ledge at 175 feet (53 m) before noticing bubbles rising from Temple's position below. Gilliam descended and saw a 12-foot (3.7 m) whitetip biting Temple's left thigh, the second larger shark attacking immediately afterward and severing Temple's lower left leg. Gilliam grabbed Temple's shoulder harness and began kicking to the surface, but the sharks pulled the two men deeper to 400 feet (120 m), tearing into Temple's abdomen and pulling him out of Gilliam's arms. Gilliam and McIlvaine successfully surfaced and survived; Temple's body was never recovered. This may be the deepest shark attack on record.
Ernie Reathaford March 31, 1970 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Swept out to sea by strong surf while bodyboarding at Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. A 15–18-foot (4.6–5.5 m) shark was observed in the area.
Unidentified male September 20, 1967 Tiger shark Victim lost at sea when his boat capsized in the waters between the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Molokai. Part of the victim's remains were recovered from the stomach of a captured 11-foot (3.4 m) tiger shark.
LTJG John W. Gibson, 25 April 20, 1963 Galapagos shark Gibson was attacked at about 1:30 p.m. roughly 33 yards (30 m) from shore while attempting to swim across Magens Bay, Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Water conditions were calm with a temperature of approximately 82.4 °F (28 °C) and a depth of 40 feet (12 m). A vacationing tourist acquainted with Gibson, Donna M. Waugh, 25, aided him in swimming to shore, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 2 p.m. Gibson's wounds included a dismembered right hand, a mangled left shoulder, and a badly bitten right thigh and hip (including a severed femoral artery). The next day a 10-foot (3 m) male Galapagos shark was baited and hooked in the bay, its stomach containing Gibson's missing hand and other human remains; the shark's jaws are now on display at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez's marine laboratory. This is the first authenticated attack in the Virgin Islands.
Roy C. Kametani April 8, 1963 Tiger shark Victim was swept out to sea while picking opihi at Hapuna Beach, Hawaii. Parts of the body were later recovered. The victim may have drowned before being consumed.
Hans Fix, 40 August 19, 1962 bull shark Killed while surf fishing in waist deep water at Andy Bowie Park, Padre Island, near Port Isabel, Texas.
Jacob Horn, 45 October 1961 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Presumed killed by a shark; his mutilated body washed ashore near Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
William J. Dandridge, 23 June 24, 1961 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Killed while scuba diving and spear fishing 9 miles (14 km) east of Key Biscayne, Dade County, Florida. The left side of his torso, including the left arm, was devoured.
Harold Riley December 27, 1960 Tiger shark Swept out to sea while net fishing at Maile Point, Oahu, Hawaii. A 20-foot (6.1 m) shark was seen attacking Riley. His body was recovered off the coast of Nanakuli.
Young Marine Recruit August 1960 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming from camp off Parris Island, South Carolina.
Lt. James C. Neal, 26 August 15, 1959 Unconfirmed Neal was free-diving with four friends in the Gulf of Mexico about 6 miles (9.7 km) off Panama City, Florida. Neal's friends surfaced and threw him a line after entering their cruise boat; Neal, however, failed to climb up. One of the men, Gary Seymour, 21, went back into the water to search for Neal, but was "attacked by two big sharks," managing to escape by hiding in a crevice in the coral reef. Navy divers from the U.S. Naval Mine Defense Laboratory found Neal's swim fins, face mask, and lead diving weights, all showing bite marks. Neal's swim trunks and parts of his undershirt were also found, bloodstained and ripped. His body was never recovered. Charter boat captain Charles House reported that his crew baited and hooked two 12-foot (3.7 m) sharks some 300 feet (91 m) from Neal's last known location about an hour before he vanished.
Robert Lyell Pamperin, 33 June 14, 1959 Great white shark Pamperin was free-diving with a friend, Gerald Lehrer, 30, for abalone at Alligator Head, La Jolla Cove, La Jolla, California. The men were 55 yards (50 m) from shore, diving at a depth of 36–42 feet (11–13 m); water temperature was 68 °F (20 °C) with 23 feet (7 m) of visibility. At approximately 5:10 p.m. Lehrer heard Pamperin screaming for help, his thrashing body momentarily upright and waist-high out of the water before submerging. Lehrer dove and spotted a 20–23-foot (6–7 m) shark thrashing Pamperin in its mouth. Lehrer dove several times in a futile effort to scare off the shark before swimming to land. The attack was witnessed by several people onshore. An extensive search by police divers and the Coast Guard failed to recover Pamperin's body; only a single swim fin was found. He may have been swallowed whole, feet-first.
Albert Kogler, Jr., 18 May 7, 1959 Great white shark Killed while swimming in less than 15 feet (4.6 m) of water off Baker Beach, San Francisco, California.
William S. Weaver, 15 December 13, 1958 Tiger shark Killed while surfing on an air mattress near the Mokulua Islands off Lanikai, Oahu, Hawaii. His leg was severed. Rescue personnel recovering his body two hours later observed a 15–25-foot (4.6–7.6 m) shark in the vicinity.
Sailor from tuna vessel, 22 December 12, 1958 Tiger shark A sailor who was cleaning the hull of tuna vessel No. 12, the Taiyo Marei, fell overboard at approximately 11:00 a.m. in Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila, American Samoa. His body was recovered from the wharf at the Van Camp Seafood Company's tuna cannery with bite wounds to the left thigh and hip.
Angel Escartin, 35 July 10, 1958 Unconfirmed Autopsy report concluded that he was bitten by a shark off Key West, Monroe County, Florida while still alive.
Rupert Wade, 57 July 15, 1957 Great white shark Killed while swimming in the surf at Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, Carteret County, North Carolina.
Peter Savino, 25 April 28, 1957 Great white shark Savino was killed at approximately 1:30 p.m. while swimming with a friend, Daniel Hogan, 22, off Atascadero Beach, Morro Bay, California. After being swept out some 300–600 yards (270–550 m) from shore by a strong tide, the two started a swim back, though Savino began to tire. As Hogan towed Savino, a shark appeared and nudged Savino with enough force to draw blood. Aware of the imminent danger, the men started a furious race to shore, but when Hogan looked back to check on his friend Savino had disappeared. The U.S. Coast Guard sent a launch to the area, and Executive Officer James C. Knight reported seeing a 20–21-foot (6.1–6.4 m) shark swim by, though by the time the crew had returned to the spot with armaments the shark had disappeared. Despite the following day's search, Savino's body was never recovered. This attack bears similarities to the attack on Robert Pamperin in June 1959.
Sailor from tuna vessel, 28 August 8, 1955 Blue shark Received fatal bite wounds to the abdomen while taking a morning swim in Pago Pago Bay near the Van Camp Seafood Company tuna cannery, Tutuila, American Samoa.
Capt. Kosuo Mizokawa, 27 January 6, 1955 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Mizokawa was attacked after diving overboard and swimming near the stern of the Japanese-flagged trawler near the Van Camp Seafood Company tuna cannery in Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila, American Samoa.
Harold Souza, 15 July 26, 1953 Tiger shark Killed while spearfishing off Maile Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. A 10-foot (3.0 m) shark was observed in the vicinity.
Leonard Gant April 15, 1953 Tiger shark Killed by a shark off McGregor Point, Maui, Hawaii swimming after canoe he was in became swamped.
Gordon S. Chun April 8, 1953 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Swept into the sea while fishing from shore. Body recovered was mutilated by sharks. May have drowned near Wailupe, Oahu, Hawaii.
Arthur Barry Lyle Wilson, 17 December 7, 1952 Great white shark Wilson was attacked at approximately 2:00 p.m. while swimming near Lover's Point, Pacific Grove, California with a friend, Brookner W. Grady, Jr., 15. Wilson was some 25 yards (23 m) from shore in 30 feet (9 m) of water. Wave faces averaged 8 feet (2.4 m), with 6–8 feet (1.8–2.4 m) of visibility in the 55 °F (13 °C) water. Suddenly a 12–15-foot (3.7–4.6 m) shark attacked Wilson, thrashing him and lifting him several feet into the air. Grady swam to his friend's aid and began gouging the shark's eye with a hunting knife. Four other swimmers helped pull the unconscious Wilson onto an inner tube, reaching shore some 20–30 minutes later with the shark circling the entire way. By then, Wilson had bled to death. His right leg was nearly bitten off in the attack; he also suffered a severed femoral artery, gashes to his left thigh, torso, back, and a large chunk was torn out of his right buttock. The wounds suggest Wilson was bitten at least four times. The attack, which was witnessed by scores of beachgoers, is the first authenticated attack on the California coast.
Gerbacio Solano, 40 December 3, 1952 Tiger shark Killed by an extremely large shark described by witnesses as being in excess of 22 feet (6.7 m) while swimming from his fishing boat setting nets at Maile Beach, Oahu, Hawaii.
Shigeichi Kawamura August 3, 1952 Tiger shark Disappeared while swimming between the Ala Moana channel and Kewalo Basin, Oahu, Hawaii. A shark bite was found on the right side of his body.
Male Pan Am pilot 1952 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming near Key West, Florida. He was bitten in the groin area.
Alejandro Nodura June 25, 1951 Tiger shark Swept out to sea while fishing at Kapehu Beach, Hawaii. Victim was last seen in the shark's mouth.
Gilbert S. Hotta January 16, 1950 Tiger shark Swept into the sea while fishing by a large wave near Kahakuloa, Maui, Hawaii. Three large tiger sharks were seen in the area the day of the accident. His torso was recovered from a "huge tiger shark" caught there three days later.
Ralph Reginald Rives, Jr., 20 August 4, 1947 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Attacked while swimming in a canal 10 miles (20 km) north of St. Augustine, Florida. His leg was severely bitten. The Jacksonville papers initially and erroneously reported this as a barracuda attack. He died in the hospital after attempts to save him were unsuccessful.
John Kuntsler May 8, 1945 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.
A. Thompson, Jr., 16 June 16, 1937 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark while swimming in the ocean in about 4 feet (1.2 m) of water near Galveston, Texas. His right arm was torn off and his right leg and thigh were mangled.
Joseph Troy, Jr., 16 July 25, 1936 Great white shark Attacked while swimming at Hollywood Beach, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. He died during surgery.
Jere W. Fountain, 38 September 21, 1935 Bull shark Killed while swimming in Browns Inlet on the New River near Onslow Beach, North Carolina.
Richard Clark Best, Jr., 8 June 20, 1934 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Killed while standing in the surf at Melbourne, Florida.
Thomas N. Martin, 24 April 10, 1933 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Killed in the surf at Miami Beach, Florida.
George Gaspar September 2, 1931 Tiger shark Swept out to sea by strong currents while fishing at Kāhala, Oahu, Hawaii. His remains were recovered from the stomach of an 18-foot (5.5 m) shark near the Naval Air Station Barbers Point.
Unidentified boy 1926 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
William J. Goins May 18, 1926 Great white shark Killed while swimming off Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii. Witnesses describe Goins as giving a loud shriek before suddenly disappearing beneath the surface. His remains were recovered from a 12.5-foot (3.8 m) Great white shark captured off Kahuku.
Professor Winslow November 1924 Unconfirmed Killed after both legs and arms were severely bitten by a shark in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
Miss Bourne December 15, 1922 Unconfirmed Killed after her leg was bitten by a shark in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Dorothy MacLatchie, 18 June 17, 1922 Unconfirmed Killed by a "monster fish" while floating next to the Municipal Pier, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Unidentified male April 6, 1919 Unconfirmed Fisherman knocked into the water and killed in the Florida Keys.
J.L. Hanscom October 11, 1916 Unconfirmed Fisherman bitten in the leg by a large shark while assisting in hauling in a fishing net in which the shark was entangled. The incident happened in West Palm Beach, Florida; Hanscom died later that day in a hospital in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Watson "Stanley" Fisher, 24 July 12, 1916 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark Attacked while trying to recover Lester Stillwell's body in Matawan Creek, New Jersey. Fisher died at Monmouth Hospital in Long Branch, New Jersey a few hours after the attack.
Lester Stillwell, 11 July 12, 1916 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark Killed while swimming with playmates in Matawan Creek, a narrow, brackish, tidal river near Matawan, New Jersey.
Charles Bruder, 27 July 6, 1916 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or great white shark Killed while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Both legs were bitten off.
Charles Van Sant, 23 July 1, 1916 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or great white shark Attacked while swimming in chest-deep water about 40 yards (40 m) from shore at Beach Haven, New Jersey. He died on the beach of a severed femoral artery after being pulled from the surf.
Okomoto March 3, 1914 Unconfirmed Washed into the sea while picking opihi at Honomu, Hawaii and killed by two large sharks.
John Bloomquist September 23, 1911 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Killed by a shark in the Galveston, Texas ship channel after he jumped overboard to rescue a companion.
Ship's pilot September 20, 1911 Unconfirmed Fell overboard and was killed by a shark while swimming in Pensacola Bay, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Unidentified male 1910 Unconfirmed Attacked while fishing at Hilo, Hawaii.
Ah Kim Chong, 19 April 10, 1909 Unconfirmed The woman was reportedly swept away by large waves while gathering opihi along the rocky shoreline at Pauwela, Maui, Hawaii. A search party later witnessed a large shark devour what appeared to be part of the victim's body.
Unidentified male January 17, 1908 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite at Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.
Japanese fisherman January 8, 1908 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite in Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.
Japanese fisherman 1907 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Fell into the water and killed by a shark while net fishing near Pepeekeo, Honomu, Hawaii.
Belton Larkin March 31, 1907 Bull shark Killed after a shark, which had been chasing a tarpon, leapt into his small skiff breaking it apart near Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida. Shark bit his side nearly cutting him in two.
Sutton Davis July 29, 1905 Unconfirmed Killed while wading at Davis Shore, east of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Unidentified man 1904 Tiger shark Man disappeared while swimming off Diamond Head, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. A shark was caught two days later with the head and body of a man (complete from the waist down with the exception of one leg) in its gut. The shark was described as "monstrous" in size.
Phil Kitchin ca. 1903 Tiger shark Killed while fishing at Koko Head, Oahu, Hawaii. His foot was recovered two days later from a shark.
Hawaiian boy August 2, 1902 Tiger shark Killed while catching crabs at Kalihi, Oahu, Hawaii. Both arms were severed.
Unidentified Coast Guard Personnel 1900–1905 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.
Emil Uhlbrecht and an unidentified person July 14, 1900 Tiger shark Uhlbrecht was swept out to sea while hunting sea shells with friends at Makapuu Point, Oahu, Hawaii. His positively-identified foot was recovered from a tiger shark measuring 11 feet 9 inches (3.58 m) long which had been caught off Kakaako, Oahu by John Kinipeki on September 17. The shark's stomach also contained a femur and pelvis thought to belong to another person, possibly one of several Chinese fisherman who had drowned in the harbor a few months prior.
Delano Wood, 15 Summer 1895 Bull shark Killed by a 10-foot (3 m) long shark while swimming in the Trout River, Panama Park near Jacksonville, Florida.
Capt. George Jacob Hanscheldt 1853 or 1854 Unconfirmed Knocked overboard and killed by a shark near Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, Florida.
Charles Chambers 1852 Unconfirmed Killed while wading ashore from a capsized vessel in Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, South Carolina.
James Kinney March 1851 Tiger Shark Killed while swimming in Honolulu Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Crew member of a pilot boat ca. 1840 Unconfirmed, probably a Great white shark Killed while treading water awaiting rescue after being accidentally thrown overboard in Charleston Harbor, Charleston County, South Carolina. Witnesses estimated the shark to be 25 feet (8 m) long.
Joseph Blaney July 12, 1830 Great white shark While fishing from a dory 5 miles (8 km) east of Scituate, Massachusetts.
Unidentified male 1828 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark The victim was riding surf near Lahaina, Oahu, Hawaii at the time of the attack. The shark bit off most or all of the victim's limbs, while his torso was left floating in the water. The attack was reportedly witnessed "by a number of Hawaiian chiefs."
Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu 1779 Unconfirmed, presumed tiger shark The victim was a young male who suffered a gash to one side of his buttocks following a shark attack at Maliu, Hawaii. The victim later died of his injuries at Pololū Valley.
Antony Van Corlear 1642 Unconfirmed presumed bull shark The Victim Was killed and presumably eaten by a shark while attempting to cross the Hudson river at the Spuyten Duyvil.
New Smyrna Beach in Volusia County, Fla., is the shark attack capital of the world, according to a database called the International Shark Attack File. Each year, thousands of people dip their toes and then jump in, stroking past the surf and into a zone that's literally thick with sharks.
"Most people who have swum in and around New Smyrna have been within 10 feet of a shark in their lifetime," says George Burgess, an ichthyologist and fisheries biologist at the University of Florida who maintains the International Shark Attack File (ISAF).
North America is home to dozens of beaches like New Smyrna where swimmers and sharks intermix, even though the humans may never know it. When the rare attack happens, Burgess says, it's usually a predatory mistake. "In the surf zone, where many attacks happen, sharks need to make quick decisions," he says. "Humans on surfboards—hands splashing, feet kicking—can trigger a shark to think there's trouble or a wounded animal, and it looks like an easy meal."
With its thousands of miles of coastlines and millions of beachgoers, the United States sees more shark-human interaction than any other country. Search the ISAF database and you'll find incidents at beaches from South Carolina to Oregon. There are so many reports, in fact, that California, Florida, Hawaii, North Carolina and Texas each have dedicated sections in the "Stats, Trends, Analysis" area. In Northern California, seal populations draw great white sharks like flies to fertilizer. When surfers suit up at places like Bolinas Beach and Stinson Beach, they're catching waves in one of the world's most dangerous predator's habitat. Patric Douglas, owner of Shark Diver, an ocean guiding outfit in San Francisco, calls Stinson "the granddaddy of all shark beaches." He says, "It's common to see 18-footers buzz by surfers bobbing in the waves."
On the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, tiger and hammerhead sharks mix with dolphins and humpback whales. There are dozens of popular surf beaches here, including Velzyland Beach and the Leftovers Break to name just two. Though untold thousands surf and swim here each year without incident, attacks do occur. And at Kahana in West Maui, (not North American, but American) tiger sharks are known to roam. But according to Laleh Mohajerani, executive director of the shark conservation organization Iemanya Oceanica, sharks are not looking to interfere with humans in the water. Our shark-attack fears are irrational.
"You are more likely to be hit by lightning," she says.
Indeed, there's no arguing the numbers. Of the hundreds of millions of people who enter the ocean each year, almost none are touched.
For 2007, the ISAF cites 50 attacks at U.S. beaches, most of which resulted in minor bite marks and puncture wounds that needed nothing more than a few sutures. "Many attacks are hit and runs—a quick bite and away," says Burgess. "Few sharks re-attack, as they release the foot or calf after realizing it's not their normal food."
Even in the Bahamas, where the warm water attracts large tiger sharks, the ISAF records fewer than 10 attacks over the last several decades. Unfortunately for the shark advocates, one fatal attack occurred in February, 2008, prompting a new round of fears.
But for most people, fiery emotions override even the coldest numbers. A single scary story—be it on the news or in an effects-heavy Hollywood production—will destroy the efforts of hundreds of scientists trying to communicate on research and logic.
"The common public perception today of a shark is that of a man-eater," says Burgess. "We have an innate fear for big predators and natural forces we can't control."