Shark attacks can be one of the most feared occurrences for ocean goers, or basically, anyone scared of swimming in any body of water. Even kids in pools can get scared that they might run into the toothy fish. In reality, actually getting attacked by a shark is surprisingly uncommon. It’s rare o even run into a wild shark when visiting a body of water, and even if you do, a shark isn’t always likely to attack. However, when the sharks do decide to take it to a fighting level, the results can be pretty gruesome. Click through to see 18 of the worst shark attacks in recorded history.
#18 Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton was just 13 years old when she was attacked by a 14-foot Tiger Shark. She was lounging around lying on her surfboard, when suddenly, out of nowhere, a shark came up and bit off her arm that she had hanging in the water. Luckily she survived and went on to be one of the top ten professional female surfers in the world.
#17 Shirley Ann Durdin
Shirley Ann Durdin’s shark attack story might be one of the saddest on the list. She was vacationing in Australia with her family when she was attacked in just seven-foot water by a great white shark. The shark ripped her to pieces in front of her family, leaving only her torso behind. Before rescuers made it to the scene, the shark came back and ate her torso as well.
#16 Rodney Fox
Rodney Fox is one of the most notable shark attack survivors. In 1963, at just 13 years old, Rodney was attacked by a great white who grabbed him on his side. The shark punctured his lungs and diaphragm, dragged him across the ocean floor, and charged him twice, leaving him for dead. Rodney survived and managed to stab both of the shark’s eyes! He went on to create the first shark observation tank.
#15 USS Indianapolis
In 1945, a U.S. warship was torpedoed in two, causing it to crash into the ocean, leaving 900 sailors stranded in the Pacific. As if that wasn’t enough, the stranded soldiers were also attacked by sharks for the next five days while they awaited rescue. A crew of 900 men became less than 300 survivors of both an attack by enemies and by sharks.
#14 Steven Robles
Steven Robles was swimming in the ocean among other competitive swimmers when he came face to face with a shark as it crunched right into his chest. Luckily, Steven was able to punch the shark in the nose and get it to leave. Moments before, a fisherman caught the shark on a fishing line in an effort to stall the beast so swimmers could escape, however, it seems he didn’t scare it off long enough.
#13 Terrence Manuel
Terrence Manuel was enjoying a deep sea dive in 30-foot waters when he suddenly was attacked by a shark. Luckily, he had his friend close by on a boat who saw the attack and attempted to rescue Terrence. Unfortunately, his friend was not strong enough to fight off the shark, and Terrence bled to death in the ocean in 1974.
#12 Brook Watson
Brook Watson was a British merchant sailor who went on to be the first ever recorded shark attack victim. He was 14 years old when he was swimming in the Havana Harbor when a shark came up and attacked him. Luckily, his crewmates were able to rescue him before the shark came back to finish the job. Unfortunately, he lost his leg, but he didn’t lose his life.
#11 Bruna Gobbi
Bruna Gobbi was swimming in shallow waters off a popular beach in Brazil when she was viciously attacked by a shark. Beachgoers were able to quickly rescue her, but unfortunately, she still died due to her injuries. Her attack was one of ten fatal attacks on the beach since 1992. Shark attacks are more rare than you think!
#10 Sam Kellett
Sam Kellett is a 28-year-old teacher who was attacked off the coast of Australia. He was spear fishing with his friends when a great white shark came up and devoured him. His friends described the scene as the water turning red from Sam’s blood during the attack. A sight no friend should have to see.
#9 Robert Pamperin
Robert Pamperin was snorkeling one day in 1959 when he was attacked by a great white shark. His friend noticed that he was acting strangely in the water and his mask was missing. When he got closer to the scene, he realized a great white shark had Robert in his mouth up to his waist! Unfortunately, by the time rescuers arrived at the scene, all they could find was one single flipper that belonged to Robert.
#8 Heather Boswell
Heather Boswell was swimming in the Pacific off a boat with some of her friends when she was viciously attacked by a shark. The shark came up and chewed up her leg at first. Rescuers were able to grab her to pull her on the boat, but then the shark began playing tug of war with Heather’s body. Luckily her friends won, and Heather escaped with just a beat up leg.
#7 David Peltier
David Peltier was 10 years old when his family decided to take a dip at a sand bar off Sandbridge Beach. In just four feet of water, a shark came up and attacked David. Luckily his father was able to attack the shark and save David from his grasp. Unfortunately, David ended up dying later at the hospital from his wounds.
#6 Randall Fry
Randy was swimming with his friend Fred when he was attacked off the coast of California in 2004. Fred only heard his friend get pulled under water but didn’t see the attack. After seeing a shark fin swim in a pool of red, Fred swam as fast as he could to the shore. Fred made it out alive, but Randy’s head and body were found the next day.
#5 Deborah Franzman
Deborah was enjoying a swim with a group of friendly sea lions off the shore of California in 2003. All of a sudden, she was attacked by a shark who likely thought she was a sea lion as well. Unfortunately, Deborah didn’t make it out of the water alive, and her partner had to helplessly watch the entire thing from the shore.
#4 Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen was just an average accountant looking to go for an average swim off the coast of Cape Town in 2011. Instead of just an ordinary swim, Michael unknowingly swam straight into the grasps of a great white. Luckily for Cohen, it only was able to chew off his right leg and left foot before rescuers were able to pull him to shore.
#3 Vaughan Hill
Vaughan was snorkeling one day when he suddenly realized all of the fish around him had quickly disappeared. Seconds later, Vaughan figured out why once a great white took a big bite into his arm and chest. Vaughan was able to escape and didn’t realize the severity of the situation until he went to reach for his boat and realized he didn’t have an arm to reach with. Luckily he survived to tell the tale.
#2 Mick Fanning
Mick Fanning was participating in a surfing competition when a shark attempted to eat him up. Instead, he only got a big bite of the surfboard, and Mick was able to get a nice solid punch in the shark’s nose. The shark left and water rescuers were ready on scene due to the competition happening. Luckily no one was hurt and it was all caught on camera, available to see on Youtube.
#1 Lucas Ransom
Lucas Ransom was enjoying a surf with his friend Matthew when he was attacked by a shark. Matthew told the horrifying tale of how Lucas screamed for help but Matthew was unable to do anything but watch the water turn red. Matthew escaped with his life, but Lucas did not. This is just one of about five fatal shark attacks each year.
Although shark attacks are pretty uncommon, reading about them is still enough to scare us away from taking a dip in the ocean. Shark attacks seem to occur in both deep and shallow water. Sharks also don’t seem to care whether they’re attacking an experienced surfer or flailing child. No matter what the situation, the attacks are random and tragic. It seems wearing wetsuits and using a surfboard as armor are the best protections besides just avoiding water all together! Always remember, pools don’t have sharks! Another shark tip: punching them in the nose seemed to work out for a few people on the list as well!