Jeff Horton, 25, was surfing with 10 others at Pila‘a Beach near Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii on Sunday 20 October 2013 when he spotted a dark shape approaching him while he was sitting on his board. He says he thought it was a stingray. He lifted his legs out the water and the shark bit into his board.
“It came flying straight toward me,” he said
He was knocked off his board and fell onto the shark. He grabbed a fin and started punching the shark, which continued to bite onto his board.
“I finally got one nice punch into the eye,” Horton was quoted as saying. “I put some really good hits on it, for sure.”
When he hit it in the eye the shark let go the board and swam away. He was not injured, although his board was left with the typical semi-circular bite mark.
It was not reported what type of shark it was or what size it was.
A 10-year-old surfer (not immediately named in press reports) had his board bitten by what is presumed to be a 6-8 foot bull shark while surfing in a contest at The Washout on Folly Beach in South Carolina. The incident happened around 5.30pm on Sunday 11 August 2013.
A witness on the beach said the shark got tangled in his leash. The shark then latched onto his board. The boy managed to undo his leash and swim away from the board. He was not injured.
Two other surfers swam out an helped the boy to shore.
The contest — the S.C. Governor’s Cup of Surfing – was stopped and postponed to September.
A 25-year-old surfer (name not released) was killed by an unidentified shark while surfing with friends at Second Beach, Port St Johns, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The incident happened about 3pm on Sunday 15 January 2012.
According to a report in the Daily Dispatch the surfer sustained severe injuries to his chest and arms after fighting off the shark with his surfboard.
According to the report, he fought the shark for at least 5 minutes before being pulled from the water by a surfer and other swimmers. Lifeguards and a doctor at the beach at the time treated his wounds before emergency paramedics arrived. He died on route to hospital.
An eye witness was quoted as saying:
“I saw the fin of the shark and as I told people to get out of the water I heard him scream and within seconds the water had turned red.”
“He had a surfboard with him and he used it to wrestle off the shark.
“Lifeguards started blowing their whistles, but by that time there was blood everywhere.
“I have never seen so much blood in my life. I am not sure if I will ever be able to swim there again.”
According to the newspaper, the surfer called on others in the water to get out while he tried to fight off the shark with his board.
National Sea Rescue Institute spokesman said the sea at the time had poor visibility and the water was very warm.
There has been a spate of shark attacks at this beach in the past few years – several of them fatal.
Theresa Fernandez escaped inury when a shark bit down on the back of her surfboard while she was surfing at Lyman Beach, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The incident happened on Wednesday 25 May 2011 and comes three days after a paddle boarder and grandson were knocked off their board by a shark at Lyman Beach.
She told HawaiiNewsNow she said she was paddling out for one of her last waves of the day.
“There’s a big thud on the bottom of my board, and I’m thinking, ‘okay, we have encounters with turtles all the time’. And next thing I know, the thud is followed by a big yank from the back of my board, backwards and down.
“Half my board and my body went under the water, and I just started to paddle as strong as I could to try and get away.”
The shark let go and she paddle to shore and alerted others.
“I don’t think she got to have eye to eye contact with the shark like I did,” said Alayna DeBina, the paddle boarder who was knocked off her board three days earlier, “but from what I hear, she was surfing and luckily she had her legs up in the air on the board at that point, and the shark apparently bit her board from the back and shook it up real good and then let it go, probably because the skeg poked it in its mouth.”
A shark specialist studied the bite and said it appeared to be a tiger shark. The report said tests were still being done to determine the size of the shark.