List of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks in the United States

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This is a list of fatal, unprovoked shark attacks that occurred in United States territorial waters by decade in reverse chronological order. Fatal shark attacks that resulted from provocation (such as shooting the shark with a speargun) are not included; neither are attacks that occurred outside U.S. territorial waters (for example, the shark attacks that occurred after the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in World War II would not be included here).

Four species of sharks account for the vast majority of fatal attacks on humans: the bull shark, the tiger shark, the oceanic whitetip shark, and the great white shark.

A pink background indicates that the greater weight of the evidence suggests that this victim died from a cause of death other than a shark attack; however, at least one source at some point in time has identified shark attack as the cause of death.


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Patrick A. Briney, 57December 2, 2013unconfirmed, presumed to be a Tiger SharkBriney, a resident of Washington State, was fishing from a kayak with his right foot dangling over the side, which was bitten by a shark. He died while being transported to shore. The attack occurred about 500 yards off Keawakapu Beach in the Makena State Recreation Area on Maui, Hawaii.[1]
Jana Lutteropp, 20August 14, 2013unconfirmed, presumed to be a Tiger Shark[2]Lutteropp, a German tourist, died on August 21, 2013 one week after her right arm was bitten off by a shark while snorkeling 50 to 100 yards off Palauea beach in Makena, Maui.[3][4]
Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39October 23, 2012Great white sharkSolorio died after he was bitten on the left side of his upper torso by a great white shark while surfing. The attack occurred at Surf Beach near Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County, California, just two years after a fatal attack in the same location. Authorities from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office positively identified the species involved in the attack as a 15–16 feet (4.6–4.9 m) great white shark.[5][6]
Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19October 22, 2010Great white shark[7][8][9]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.[7][9] 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).[8]
Stephen Howard Schafer, 38February 3, 2010Bull shark[10]Schafer was attacked while kitesurfing around 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 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 he died from massive blood loss from a leg wound.[11][12][13][14]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Richard A. Snead, 60September 12, 2009UnconfirmedSnead 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.[15] Final autopsy results, released on January 5, 2010, concluded Snead's death appeared to be from drowning. This conclusion conflicted, however, with an initial autopsy conducted at East Carolina University which said he died of shark bites.[16][17]
David Roger Martin, 66April 25, 2008Great white sharkMartin was 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.[18]
Jamie Marie Daigle, 14June 25, 2005Bull sharkDaigle was 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.[19]
Randy Fry, 50August 15, 2004Great white sharkFry was 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 the shark was 16–18 feet (4.9–5.5 m) long.[20][21]
Willis R. McInnis, 57April 7, 2004Tiger sharkAttacked while surfing off Pohaku Park, Maui, Hawaii, McInnis died a short time after the attack as a result of blood loss from severe wounds to his right thigh and calf.[22]
Courtney Marcher, 22April 4, 2004Unconfirmed, possibly a tiger sharkMarcher disappeared while surfing at Velzyland, the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, around 8:45 a.m. Her undamaged surfboard was found 3 miles (4.8 km) off Kaena Point by a fisherman three days later, 18 miles (29 km) north of her last known location and consistent with currents.[23] Unusual serrated markings on the board's ankle leash were suggestive of shark involvement,[24] but analysis by the state Shark Task Force proved inconclusive, with experts divided as to what the marks represented.[23][25] Police reported 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.[23][25] On the day she vanished, wave faces averaged 6 feet (1.8 m), but she was described as healthy and a strong swimmer.[23][25]
Deborah Blanche Franzman, 50August 19, 2003Great white sharkFranzman 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.[26][27] 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.[28] According to witnesses, Franzman was swimming with seals alongside a line of buoys in a full wetsuit before the animals "suddenly scattered".[27] Franzman screamed for help after the shark struck twice and swam off, but apparently lost consciousness and drifted face-down in the water before lifeguards pulled her to shore, by which time she had died of blood loss.[29] Her wounds included a severed femoral artery.[28] Franzman was only the second shark-related fatality in San Luis Obispo County history since the April 1957 death of Peter Savino.[29]
Eric Reichardt, 42September 16, 2001Unconfirmed, possibly a bull shark or tiger sharkThis 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. Reichardt 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 while fighting off a shark. His diving regulator may have fallen out of his mouth, causing him to drown.[30]
Sergei Zaloukaev, 28September 3, 2001Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull shark or a tiger sharkZaloukaev was 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.[15][31]
David Peltier, 10September 1, 2001Unconfirmed, possibly a bull sharkPeltier was killed while surfing with his father and brothers at Sandbridge Beach, south of Virginia Beach, Virginia. He died of severe injuries to the lower leg.[31]
Thadeus Kubinski, 69August 30, 2000Bull sharkKubinski was 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).[32][33]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Nahid Davoodabai, 29March 18, 1999Unconfirmed, presumed to be a tiger sharkThis unconfirmed fatal attack occurred 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 late in the afternoon. Their double kayak capsized repeatedly in rough channel waters, and Davoodabai was soon unable to 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.[34]
James Willie Tellasmon, 9November 21, 1998Tiger sharkKilled while swimming off Ocean Beach, Jaycee Park, Indian River County, Florida, Tellasmon's 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 the shark was a tiger shark, about 6 feet (1.8 m) long.[14]
William Covert, 25September 13, 1995Bull sharkA scuba diver, Covert was presumed to have been killed by a 10–12-foot (3.0–3.7 m) bull shark near Alligator Reef off Islamorada, Monroe County, Florida. His body was never recovered.
James Robinson, 42December 9, 1994Great white sharkRobinson was 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, 25April 16, 1994Great white sharkvon Emster was killed while swimming off Point Loma, San Diego, California. The San Diego County medical examiner's office ruled she was killed in a shark attack; however, some in the law enforcement community have questioned this conclusion and feel she may have been murdered and dumped in the Pacific Ocean.[35] Her leg was bitten off by a great white shark.[26]
Jim BroachJanuary 31, 1994Tiger sharkBroach was killed while surfing at Velzyland on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Daniel McMoylerDecember 1993Tiger sharkOn January 11, 1994, McMoyler's 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, 18November 5, 1992Tiger sharkRomento 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.[36]
Bryan Adona, 29February 19, 1992Tiger sharkAdona was presumed to have been 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.[37]
Martha Joy Morrell, 41November 26, 1991Tiger sharkFatally attacked around 9 a.m., Morrell was attacked while snorkeling 100 yards (91 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.[38]
Suk Kyu (Steve) ParkNovember 19, 1991Tiger sharkPark 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. Rescuers 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.[39]
Roy T. TanakaFebruary 17, 1990Tiger sharkTanaka 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, Honolulu, Hawaii. Diving equipment was later found. The next day around 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.[40]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Ray Mehl, Jr.October 14, 1989Tiger sharkThis 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. He had been in the water for 10–15 minutes before vanishing around 4:30 p.m. His partner conducted a search of the area where 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 the parrotfish had been exhibiting "unusual behavior" just prior to his disappearance.[40]
Tamara McAllister, 24January 26, 1989Great white sharkMcAllister was 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, 38September 13, 1988Bull sharkMartin was killed while snorkeling around Shell Island near Panama City, Florida. A 10-foot (3 m)-long bull shark had caused fatal thigh and hand wounds.
Avery GooApril 15, 1988UnconfirmedThis 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.[41]
Daniel KennedyApril 15, 1987UnconfirmedKennedy was presumed to have been 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.[41]
Levi ChandlerApril 20, 1986UnconfirmedChandler 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.[41]
Male diver, 67August 1985UnconfirmedThis victim was presumed to have been killed by a shark in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. His body was never recovered. Some of his equipment — a diving regulator, swim fin, and bathing suit — were found, showing teethmarks.
Omar Conger, 28September 15, 1984Great white sharkConger 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 about 20–30 minutes before the attack occurred. Water conditions were calm, but visibility was less than 3.3 feet (1 m).[42] Conger was struck twice, with 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.[43] Injuries to Conger's thighs were extensive (both femoral arteries were severed), and his hands and buttocks were severely bitten; the wounds suggest an attacking great white shark 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.[44]
Lewis Archer Boren, 24December 19, 1981Great white sharkBoren 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 p.m.[45] 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-shaped bite taken out of one side; the board's missing piece was found nearby.[45] Analysis of the bite mark showed the presence of embedded teeth fragments from a great white shark. At 11 a.m. on December 24, Boren's body was spotted by a park ranger near Pacific Grove, about 0.62 miles (1 km) from the attack site.[45] Boren, who had been wearing a dark wetsuit, was believed to have been lying on his yellow kneeboard in 10 feet (3 m) of water just beyond the break point, when a great white shark 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.[45] 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.[45]
Mark Meeker, 26September 15, 1981Unconfirmed, probably a bull sharkMeeker was killed while swimming between Anna Maria Island and Egmont Key State Park in Tampa Bay, Manatee County, Florida. He was found dead the next day. He had taken off his bathing suit to use the drawstring as a makeshift tourniquet on his right calf.
Christy Wapniarski, 19August 10, 1981Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger sharkA catamaran Wapniarski was riding on had capsized the night before off of Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida. She was presumably killed by a shark while attempting to swim to shore at daybreak.
Roger B. GarlettsMay 21, 1981Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkGarletts 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 teeth marks, were suggestive of a fatal shark attack.[46]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Unidentified male1979Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkThis victim disappeared while fishing from shore at South Kohala, Big Island, Hawaii. Police divers only recovered the elderly man's severed hand and a flashlight.[47]
Danson Nakaima1976bull sharkNakaima was presumed to have been 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.[47]
Stephen C. PowellJuly 16, 1976Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkKilled by a shark while scuba diving off Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, only the lower portion of Powell's body was recovered.[47]
John Carter, 17July 20, 1974UnconfirmedCarter was 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, 10July 2, 1974Oceanic whitetip sharkWhile adrift after the yacht he was in caught on fire and sank, Horne was killed by a shark in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
Rodney TempleOctober 14, 1972Oceanic 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.[48][49] 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.[49][50] 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, and the second larger shark attacking immediately afterward and severing Temple's lower left leg.[49] 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.[49][50] Gilliam and McIlvaine successfully surfaced and survived; Temple's body was never recovered. This may be the deepest shark attack on record.[48]
Ernie ReathafordMarch 31, 1970Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkSwept out to sea by strong surf, Reathaford was bodyboarding at Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii. A 15–18-foot (4.6–5.5 m) shark was observed in the area.[47]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Unidentified maleSeptember 20, 1967Tiger sharkThis 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.[51]
LTJG John W. Gibson, 25April 20, 1963Galapagos sharkGibson 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).[52] 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.[53][54] 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).[52] 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.[55] This is the first authenticated attack in the Virgin Islands.[52]
Roy C. KametaniApril 8, 1963Tiger sharkKametami 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.[41]
Hans Fix, 40August 19, 1962Bull sharkFix was killed while surf fishing in waist-deep water at Andy Bowie Park, Padre Island, near Port Isabel, Texas.
Jacob Horn, 45October 1961Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger sharkPresumed killed by a shark; Horn's mutilated body washed ashore near Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
William J. Dandridge, 23June 24, 1961Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger sharkKilled while scuba diving and spear fishing 9 miles (14 km) east of Key Biscayne, Dade County, Florida, the left side of Dandridge's torso, including the left arm, was devoured.
Harold RileyDecember 27, 1960Tiger sharkSwept out to sea while net fishing at Maile Point, Oahu, Hawaii, Riley was seen being attacked by a 20-foot (6.1 m) shark. His body was recovered off the coast of Nanakuli.[51]
Young Marine recruitAugust 1960UnconfirmedThis victim was killed while swimming from camp off Parris Island, South Carolina.


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Lt. James C. Neal, 26August 15, 1959UnconfirmedNeal 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.[56] 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.[57] His body was never recovered. Charter boat captain Charles House reported 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.[56]
Robert Lyell Pamperin, 33June 14, 1959Great white sharkPamperin 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); the water temperature was 68 °F (20 °C) with 23 feet (7 m) of visibility.[42] Around 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.[42][58] 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 was seen being swallowed whole, feet-first.[59]
Albert Kogler, Jr., 18May 7, 1959Great white sharkKogler was killed while swimming in less than 15 feet (4.6 m) of water off Baker Beach, San Francisco, California.
William S. Weaver, 15December 13, 1958Tiger sharkWhile surfing near the Mokulua Islands off Lanikai, Oahu, Hawaii, Weaver was killed when 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.[60]
Sailor from tuna vessel, 22December 12, 1958Tiger sharkA 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, 35July 10, 1958UnconfirmedAutopsy report concluded Escartin was bitten by a shark off Key West, Monroe County, Florida while still alive.
Rupert Wade, 57July 15, 1957Great white sharkWade was killed while swimming in the surf at Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, Carteret County, North Carolina.
Peter Savino, 25April 28, 1957Great white sharkSavino was killed at approximately 1:30 p.m. while swimming with a friend, Daniel Hogan, 22, off Atascadero Beach, Morro Bay, California.[61][62] 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.[42] 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.[42]
Sailor from tuna vessel, 28August 8, 1955Blue sharkA sailor 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, 27January 6, 1955Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkMizokawa 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.[63]
Harold Souza, 15July 26, 1953Tiger sharkSouza was killed while spearfishing off Maile Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. A 10-foot (3.0 m) shark was observed in the vicinity.[60]
Leonard GantApril 15, 1953Tiger sharkGant was killed by a shark off McGregor Point, Maui, Hawaii swimming after canoe he was in became swamped.
Gordon S. ChunApril 8, 1953Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkSwept into the sea while fishing from shore, Chun's recovered body was mutilated by sharks. He may have drowned near Wailupe, Oahu, Hawaii.[60]
Arthur Barry Lyle Wilson, 17December 7, 1952Great white sharkWilson 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.[64] 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.[64] 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.[65] 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.[66] 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, and back, and a large chunk was torn out of his right buttock. The wounds suggest Wilson was bitten at least four times.[64] The attack, which was witnessed by scores of beachgoers, is the first "authenticated" attack on the California coast.[64]
Gerbacio Solano, 40December 3, 1952Tiger sharkSolano was 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.[60]
Shigeichi KawamuraAugust 3, 1952Tiger sharkKawamura 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.[60]
Male Pan Am pilot1952UnconfirmedKilled while swimming near Key West, Florida, the man was bitten in the groin area.
Alejandro NoduraJune 25, 1951Tiger sharkSwept out to sea while fishing at Kapehu Beach, Hawaii, the victim was last seen in the shark's mouth.[60]
Gilbert S. HottaJanuary 16, 1950Tiger sharkWhile fishing, Hotta was swept into the sea 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.[60]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Ralph Reginald Rives, Jr., 20August 4, 1947Unconfirmed, probably a bull sharkAttacked while swimming in a canal 10 miles (20 km) north of St. Augustine, Florida, Rives' 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 KuntslerMay 8, 1945UnconfirmedKunstler was killed while swimming in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
A. Thompson, Jr., 16June 16, 1937UnconfirmedKilled by a shark while swimming in the ocean in about 4 feet (1.2 m) of water near Galveston, Texas, Thompson's right arm was torn off and his right leg and thigh were mangled.
Joseph Troy, Jr., 16July 25, 1936Great white sharkAttacked while swimming at HollyWoods Beach, Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, As he swam in the waters off the beach, Joseph Troy Jr., 16, a summer visitor from Dorchester, was grabbed and bitten by a 6-foot shark and dragged underwater less than 50 yards from shore.

The badly injured youth was rushed to St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford. He died on the operating table that night while surgeons were amputating his left leg. The boy, along with a family friend, had been swimming out from the beach to meet the Black Cat, a catboat that had just picked up its mooring after a morning sail, when the shark attacked, Smith said.

The Black Cat's owner, Hubert Fisher, jumped into his dinghy and, with the help of the other swimmer, Walter Stiles of Boston, got the boy aboard and took him to the beach.

Using an old wooden door as a stretcher, neighbors carried the badly injured teen to a car and he was rushed to the hospital.The wind had been from the southeast the day before the attack, he said, a condition that roils the bottom and results in poor visibility. That could have been a critical factor, producing an instinctive reaction from the shark when it saw the flash of a swimmer's white leg, Smith said he believes.

The Standard-Times report of the incident said Joseph Troy was still conscious when he was wheeled into the operating room for the amputation.

The attending surgeon, Dr. E.D. Gardner, said the boy told him he was horrified not so much by the bite as the thought of being dragged down while in the grip of the shark.

In the aftermath of the attack, beaches around Buzzards Bay were deserted and swimming came to a halt along much of the Massachusetts coast, the newspaper reported.

Although the attack was without precedent, sharks had previously been observed in Buzzards Bay. Just a week earlier, a 6-foot shark had been caught in Marion harbor.

Jere W. Fountain, 38September 21, 1935Bull sharkFountain was killed while swimming in Browns Inlet on the New River near Onslow Beach, North Carolina.
Richard Clark Best, Jr., 8June 20, 1934Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger sharkBest was killed while standing in the surf at Melbourne, Florida.
Thomas N. Martin, 24April 10, 1933Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger sharkMartin was killed in the surf at Miami Beach, Florida.
George GasparSeptember 2, 1931Tiger sharkGaspar was 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.[67]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Unidentified boy1926UnconfirmedThis victim was killed by a shark in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
William J. GoinsMay 18, 1926Great white sharkGoins was attacked 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.[67]
Professor WinslowNovember 1924UnconfirmedWinslow died after both legs and arms were severely bitten by a shark in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
Miss BourneDecember 15, 1922UnconfirmedBourne died after her leg was bitten by a shark in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Dorothy MacLatchie, 18June 17, 1922UnconfirmedKilled by a "monster fish", MacLatchie was floating next to the Municipal Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Unidentified maleApril 6, 1919UnconfirmedThis fisherman was knocked into the water and killed in the Florida Keys.
Tadaicai MayamuraNovember 1918UnconfirmedMayamura, a Japanese worker fishing off the coast of Papaikou plantation in Hawaii, was swept off a rock by a large wave. Mayamura was later heard crying for help and seen struggling in the water in the presence of a shark dorsal fin. His body was not recovered.[68]
Watson "Stanley" Fisher, 24July 12, 1916Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark[33]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.[69]
Lester Stillwell, 11July 12, 1916Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark[33]Stillwell was killed while swimming with playmates in Matawan Creek, a narrow, brackish, tidal river near Matawan, New Jersey.[69]
Charles Bruder, 27July 6, 1916Unconfirmed, probably a bull or great white shark[33]Bruder was killed while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Both legs were bitten off.[69]
Charles Van Sant, 23July 1, 1916Unconfirmed, probably a bull or great white shark[33]Attacked while swimming in chest-deep water about 40 yards (40 m) from shore at Beach Haven, New Jersey, Van Sant died on the beach of a severed femoral artery after being pulled from the surf. The incident was recorded as the first known shark attack in United States waters [69]
OkomotoMarch 3, 1914UnconfirmedWashed into the sea while picking opihi at Honomu, Hawaii, Okomoto was killed by two large sharks.[67]
John BloomquistSeptember 23, 1911Unconfirmed, probably a bull sharkBloomquist was killed by a shark in the Galveston, Texas ship channel after he jumped overboard to rescue a companion.
Ship's pilotSeptember 20, 1911UnconfirmedThis victim fell overboard and was killed by a shark while swimming in Pensacola Bay, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Unidentified male1910UnconfirmedThis victim was attacked while fishing at Hilo, Hawaii.[67]


Name, AgeDateSpeciesLocation; Comments
Ah Kim Chong, 19April 10, 1909UnconfirmedThe 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.[70]
Unidentified maleJanuary 17, 1908UnconfirmedKilled by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite at Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.[71]
Japanese fishermanJanuary 8, 1908UnconfirmedKilled by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite in Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.[71]
Japanese fisherman1907Unconfirmed, probably a tiger sharkFell into the water and killed by a shark while net fishing near Pepeekeo, Honomu, Hawaii.[71]
Belton LarkinMarch 31, 1907Bull sharkKilled 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 DavisJuly 29, 1905UnconfirmedKilled while wading at Davis Shore, east of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Unidentified man1904Tiger sharkMan 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 Kitchinca. 1903Tiger sharkKilled while fishing at Koko Head, Oahu, Hawaii. His foot was recovered two days later from a shark.
Hawaiian boyAugust 2, 1902Tiger sharkKilled while catching crabs at Kalihi, Oahu, Hawaii. Both arms were severed.[71]
Unidentified Coast Guard Personnel1900–1905UnconfirmedKilled while swimming at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.
Emil Uhlbrecht and an unidentified personJuly 14, 1900Tiger sharkUhlbrecht 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.[71]

Before 1900[edit]

Name, ageDateSpeciesLocation, Comments
Delano Wood, 15Summer 1895Bull sharkKilled by a 10-foot (3 m) long shark while swimming in the Trout River, Panama Park near Jacksonville, Florida.
Capt. George Jacob Hanscheldt1853 or 1854UnconfirmedKnocked overboard and killed by a shark near Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, Florida.
Charles Chambers1852UnconfirmedKilled while wading ashore from a capsized vessel in Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, South Carolina.
James KinneyMarch 1851Tiger SharkKilled while swimming in Honolulu Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Crew member of a pilot boatca. 1840Unconfirmed, probably a Great white sharkKilled 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 BlaneyJuly 12, 1830Great white sharkWhile fishing from a dory 5 miles (8 km) east of Scituate, Massachusetts.
Unidentified male1828Unconfirmed, presumed to be a tiger sharkThe victim was riding surf near Lahaina, Maui, 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."[72]
Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu1779Unconfirmed, presumed tiger sharkThe 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.[72]
Anthony Van Corlaer1642Unconfirmed, presumed bull sharkThe victim was presumably killed and eaten by a shark on a stormy evening while attempting to swim across the Hudson River at the Spuyten Duyvil, Riverdale, New York City. A witness to Van Corlaer's death stated that "the devil" in the shape of a giant fish swam up and proceeded to "seize the sturdy Antony by the leg and drag him beneath the waves."[73] This may be the earliest recorded shark attack in the New World.[73]

See also[edit]

For a topical guide to this subject, see Outline of sharks.



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General references

External links[edit]