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Has anyone been attacked by a shark .

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 28, 2003
I was wondering if anyone in this forum has been attacked by a shark, or has come close. I'm sure some of you South African divers have some stories.

i have been attacked by a tiger shark while spearfishing here in Kuwait. well it wasnt anything dramatic cuz he came up from under me as i was ascending and i was lucky that he just took a nice chunk out if my fin inseat of my foot. he grabbed it in his mouth and made a tight turn. since i had already shot my fish ans was in the process of taking it to the surface i had no resource other than to just try to hit him with the muzzle of my speargun. i guess im just one luck kid! :D

i surfaced got air and descended but this time i swan around the contour of the corals until i got beneath the boat and just went straight up. i got on the boat and started the engines. at about this time my uncle, who was scubaing decided to poke his head out of the water. I blew the airhorn, which is our signal for something has gone wrong and rushed over to him. he got on the boat and the next day i just went to get a new pair of fins.

with regard as to how this encounter has changed my view on spearfishing, i just take more precaution and have a little pneamatic gun with a exploding tip on my inflatable raft where i take my fish to as soon as i spear them. and now i love the sea even more....i think that i even look forward to seeing another tiger, cuz i saw this documentary on Discovery Channel where this marine zoologist swims with bullsharks without a cage or speargun or any stick wathsoever in heavily baited conditions and i wan to try it (without the heavily baited conditions) :head
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Hiya Dan

I'm a free-diving newbie, just started, and have done all my diving so far in False Bay, Cape Town, and the home of the Great White. So far just doing shore entry dives, and getting comfortable with the feeling of apnea, learning to relax etc, but I have to admit that the thought of great whites is never far from my mind. I free-dive near a penguin colony, and have had a few frights before realising that it was a penguin that flashes by me, but I have heard of a few South African spearos that have some interesting stories to tell ! I had a false sense of security with shore entry dives, but have since been told that great whites have been seen in and around the kelp in quite shallow water...so !!

So no epic stories of sharks from me, and hopefully, it'll stay that way !

Blue skies

What is an "attack"?? That tiger sure was. I've been bumped and otherwise hassled by sharks more times than I can remember, but never bitten. The vast majority of those were not attacks, only curiosity or trying to figure out what was me and what was my fish.

Only came close twice, maybe three times. Once was a little lemon shark, maybe 20 kilos, that had his jaw unhinged, the circle of (little) teeth thing and was going for my leg, not for the fish. I jumped and so did he, after pushing him off three times with the sling shaft, I shoved it down his throat (strickly accidental) and he swam off chewing on it. Happened so fast, I wasn't scared until he was gone, then discovered that walking on water was real easy if you have enough motivation.

The only other time I'm sure of was a big bull shark, maybe 150 kilos, that made a pass by me on the bottom and, as I was going back to the boat ( at high speed) he came up vertically underneath me and fast, pealed off at the tip of my gun and slowly sank down until I couldn't see him any more. Since then I've learned that this is attack behavior and usually results in a bite. I was very lucky to see him coming.
close calls


Where you in the Gulf of Mexico when the bull shark gave you a charge? I spend a few weeks out of the year in St. Petersburg, and I always wonderd about sharks, and shark activity in that body of water. I'm hoping to give spear fishing a try this summer when I go down. I'm not deathly afraide of being attacked, acually I would like to see a shark in the wild, and not behind glass. I'm just a littel ignorant on the subject, I've watched plenty of shows on sharks, and there behaver; but I would like to hear form people like you that have experinced them in the wild first hand.

Thank for the replys everyone.


I was in the Gulf, off Tarpon Springs, in about 40 ft of water. This is the only bull I ever saw in the Gulf, out of hundreds of days in the water spearing. That was the only time I have been seriously hassled in the Gulf. Normally, in the eastern Gulf, sharks are not a problem for spearos. Things like spearing on scuba with a stringer full of fish are not a problem, whereas in many places, the sharks would be all over you. There are plenty of sharks, but they just don't bother divers very often. I don't know why. So, go and enjoy. Consider your self very lucky if you see one.
unusual but it happened!

i know this story is as nothing to anyone freediving
in Oz or S.A. but anyway...

I was doing a spot of freediving near Chumporn pinnacle
off KohTao in thailand where you often see
small, rather shy blacktips. As i understood it there really
are NO aggressive sharks in thailand....
I had recently seen a whaleshark so i had my
eyes peeled for something.

Which was lucky.
During our long swim back to the boat
i happened to look down to see a near 3m shark
coming up straight up fast toward me.
Exaggerated motions arched back, the works.
Luckily he stopped a few meters away, checked me out
and went back down.
I dont know what he was. Thought he was a bull shark cos
he had a nice fat head on him but i understand this
is highly unlikely in the gulf of thailand.
However he was WAY too big to be a reef shark...

And here's a vid i found that craps all over my story
by a mile! (i think he spots him about 10 seconds
into the clip...)

check out the "tiger a little too close" mpeg

My most memorable shark encounter:

A wobbegong bit me on the elbow whilst I was attempting to drag it out of a cave to show it to some friends. It let go once I headed for the surface.

Moral of the story: Dont pull a sharks tail when the shakrk is over 2m long...:hmm
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