In a very brief report, the Sunday Samoan newspaper reports that a young man was fishing in the lagoon off Upolu island in the Samoan archipelago on Friday afternoon 15 September 2017 when he was attacked by a shark.
The young man from the village of Nofoali’i on the north coast of the island sustained injuries to his hands and legs. A local villager helped him before he was taken to Leulumoega District Hospital in a serious condition.
The villager said: “I’ve been told that the shark came out of nowhere while the young man was trying to get a fish he had caught.”
Abe McGrath, 35, was surfing with friends early on Sunday morning, 10 September 2017, at Main Beach, Iluka, New South Wales, Australia when he was attacked by a 3.5 metre Great White shark.
The incident happened around 6am. McGrath was lying on his board about 300m north of the Illuka Wall.
The shark attacked from underneath and flung McGrath into the air. His board was snapped in half with the impact. McGrath landed back in the water and was fortunate to come away with a torn wetsuit and relatively minor lacerations to his right hip.
“He was laying on his board and he got attacked from below really aggressively, the force of the attack snapped his board,” McGrath’s friend Bryce Cameron, who was on the beach and about to head into the water when the attack occurred, said.
“The impact lifted him up. The shark was coming from the deep and hit (Abe’s board) with its nose and opened its mouth and latched on the board.
Cameron said shark got most of the board in its mouth.
“He [McGrath] got a good look at it. He said it was a 3.5m white pointer. In the big scheme of things that is a juvenile but it is still big enough to kill.”
McGrath said the shark circled him after the attack and then swam off.
With the help of his friend Elijah ‘Hobbit’ Colbey, he retrieved one half of his surfboard and paddled to shore. His friends drove him to Ballina Hospital and he was then flown to Lismore Hospital, New South Wales, for further treatment and discharged Sunday night.
Cameron was on the beach during the attack and said if McGrath had been sitting on the board instead of lying on it when the shark struck, he would have lost his leg.
Cameron posted this on Instagram: “Life could of been very different this morning…. so stoked to still have our mate and not witness something far worse. Our arrival to iluka this morning, @abemcgrath hit by a juvenile white pointer. So stoked to see him able to limp up the beach.”
“Abe was left floating in the water with a couple of teeth marks on his body. He scrambled in the water and got washed in by the next wave.”
“He is pretty much the luckiest man on earth right now,” Cameron said.
“He was stoked, he wasn’t in shock yet, he was really happy to be alive and in front of his mates. We were all giving him big hugs and felt pretty lucky to have him there.”
Colbey, the only other surfer in the water with McGrath at the time, was quoted as saying:
“We were 50m apart and it was just me and him out there.
“A good wave rolled past, we were both watching it, and then I looked back and saw Abe skimming across the water splashing.
“Then I hear f**k off, f**k off and then my nickname Hobbit being called out.
“I started paddling towards him for help and then my mind clicked to it being the worst possible outcome.”
“I grabbed his two broken bits of surfboard and we looked at each other and counted our blessings that we could actually walk away.
“He was very stoked to be able to walk up the beach with me … we could look back on it and be very stoked but also shaken up and in shock.”
Paul Goff, 48, was bodyboarding 30 metres off Casuarina Point in Bunbury, Western Australia, when a 4-metre great white shark knocked him off his board and then returned and bit his board before disappearing.
Paul made it to shore uninjured, but he was treated for shock. He did not need to be taken to hospital.
Tiffany Johnson, 32, was snorkeling off Athol Island, Bahamas on 2 June 2017 when what is thought to be a tiger shark bit off her right arm below the elbow.
Her husband James had swum back to the boat 10 minutes earlier.
“I just stayed out for a little bit longer because there was a part of the reef I hadn’t seen yet,” she was quoted as saying.
“I was just floating there for the most part. I wasn’t moving my arms and legs very much, because I didn’t want to disturb the fish.
“I didn’t feel any pain. I just felt like I had run into something. I thought I had bumped into something.
“I causally looked to the right and I was face to face with a shark, and he had my arm in his mouth.
“He didn’t struggle at first. He was just kind of sitting there with my arm in his mouth, almost as if he was waiting for me to do something. It was very strange.
“It registered what was going on, so I went to pull my arm back and that’s when the struggle began.
“We struggled for some time, it wasn’t very long, and then I was able to break free because he had taken my arm.”
She threw off her snorkeling gear and screamed for help. Her husband jumped in the water and swam to his wife and met her when she was about halfway back to the boat.
James said: “I looked over there and I just saw blood all over in the water, all around her. She’s saying, ‘help me, help me, Jesus,’ and she’s praying as she’s swimming back with one hand. Her other hand raised above the water. It was just unreal. My biggest concern was to get her back to the boat, hoping and just praying the shark wasn’t following us.”
Once on board the boat they wrapped her severed arm in a towel to stem the bleeding.
It wasn’t until they reached an ambulance that she felt pain. At that point, the pain was excruciating.
The crew rushed her to a local hospital in the Bahamas where doctors performed initial surgery to try to save as much of her arm as possible.
The couple were then flown to Charlotte, North Carolina, US, where Tiffany had further surgery at Carolinas Medical Center.
Ali Mohammad Hamad Al Beloushi, 41, was on a fishing trip in the Arabian Sea 5 nautical miles off Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates, when he took a free dive off the side of the boat. When he surfaced about 3 metres from the boat he was bitten on the right leg by a shark and suffered serious lacerations
His friend, Omar, who was in the boat, shot the shark with a ‘fishing gun’. The shark released Ali who managed to get back in the boat. The two fishermen caught the shark and hauled it to shore. The species of shark was not reported, but they said it weighed about 200kg.
Ali was taken to Khor Fakkan hospital. His brother Hassan said he had “severe bites to his right leg”.