It was every surfer’s biggest nightmare and over the past 12 hours it has become the leading news of the day. During the final of the J-Bay Open today (July 19, 2015) between Julian Wilson and Mick Fanning a shark swam over and tried to take a nip our of defending champion and three-time world champ Fanning.
“I was just cruising and waiting for my turn, my opportunity and I knew Julian (Wilson) was down the point,” Fanning said. “I was just about to get moving and start paddling again and all of a sudden I had this instinct that something was behind me. I started getting pulled underwater and then the thing came up and I was on my board and it was right there. I saw the whole thing thrashing around but I was getting dragged under by my leg rope. I felt like it kicked me off but it was still there going and I was still attached to my board. I felt like I punched it a couple of times and then it was dragging me and then my leg rope broke.”
Fanning tried to yell to Julian Wilson for him to get out of the water, but Wilson was already on his way to help Fanning.
“Mick (Fanning) was kind of out in no man’s land so I was really watching him and had my eyes on him,” said Wilson. “Mick (Fanning) was looking down the point and I saw the whole thing pop up behind him. It came up and he was wrestling it. I saw him get knocked off his board and then a wave popped up and I thought, ‘he’s gone’. I felt like I couldn’t get there quick enough. The results don’t mean anything to me, I’m just happy he’s alive. I literally thought when I was paddling for him that I wasn’t going to get there in time, especially when I saw him off his board and swimming away. I thought it was going to grab him and take him under. I’m so happy we’re both on the beach right now, I was so worried about Mick’s life.”
Both surfers were immediately removed from the water by contest water patrol and neither had a scratch on them. The contest was halted and Fanning and Wilson were given equal second place finishes and split the prize money.
We are so unbelievably overjoyed that it turned out the way it did and will be forever inspired by Julian Wilson’s heroic act. For the official word (and complete results) please follow the jump.
Christopher Blowes, 26-year-old surfer, was hit by a great white shark while surfing at Fishery Bay in South Australia’s Port Lincoln National Park on Saturday, April 25, 2015, according to a story on news.com.au.
Witnesses described how the shark swam off with one of the surfer’s legs still attached to the surfboard’s leg rope. . . Mr Blowes was airlifted to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a spokesman said Monday he remained in a critical condition in intensive care. . . In a statement released by the hospital, the surfer’s family said they were extremely grateful for the community support they had received.
We wish him a solid recovery. For the rest of the story, click the link.
Elio Canestri, a 13-year-old surfer from the French island of Reunion, was killed April 12, 2015 by a shark while surfing Les Aigrettes, according to a story from the Associated Press.
In a post on Instagram Jeremy Flores said:
ANOTHER shark attack in Reunion island this morning. 13 years old Elio was one of our best up and coming surfer. Words can’t describe how sad and angry i am. So young !!! Heart breaking News . RIP Petit Elio, 13 and, a été attaqué par un requin ce matin au spot des “zaigrettes”. Il était un de nos meilleurs jeune espoir. Il avait toute la vie devant lui. J’ai la haine. Quelle tristesse… Repose en paix marmaille
According to reports Canestri was surfing in an “off-limits” area that had been closed after a non-fatal shark attack in February. Our thoughts are with Canestri’s parents, family, friends and the entire Reunion Island surfing community.
Surfer Tadashi Nakahara died this morning (Monday, February 9, 2015) after being hit by a shark while surfing Shelly Beach in Ballina, Australia, according to a story on ABC.net.au. He was 41.
“We believe he was surfing with up to four men, two were very close to him, they rendered assistance and brought him to shore,” he said. . . “Two other surfers paddled in to help out and help with the injuries. . . “Unfortunately they could not stop the bleeding and at this stage we believe he died of blood loss. . . “He had leg injuries and they were substantial, they were injuries that led to a significant loss of blood.”
Nakahara was a well loved member of the local surf industry and was working as a distributor for Webster Surfboards. Our thoughts are with Nakahara’s family and friends.
Ever since Lost Boys we’ve thought action sports needed its own vampire story and now, thanks to Monterey, California writer Tina C. Zmak we may finally have it. Her new (self-published) book is titled Dark Surf, according to a story in the Monterey County Weekly. It’s goes something like this:
Tristan is the leader of a group of night surfers, the Nomads. He is the only one capable of transforming ordinary vampires into shapeshifting vampire sharks. He got the ability after a run-in with a shark and some radioactive waste near the Farallones: “[The shark] released Tristan and swam away, pondering the unfamiliar flavor. Deciding she liked it, she circled back and zoomed in for the kill, excited about the idea of eating something foreign and exotic, even if it was bony… As the shark hit the water, Tristan jumped on top of her. He grabbed the shark by the steel-gray gills lined up behind her head. He tore into her, covering her face with bite marks.”
Sounds pretty terrible, but the book features Encinitas, Solana Beach, and Santa Cruz as locations so if you’re up for it click the link.
The largest great white shark caught on the Gold Coast in more than seven years was taken “on a drum line” 300 meters off Greenmount Beach” on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 several hours after the Roxy Pro Gold Coast had concluded, according to a story in the Courier Mail.
Eight female surfers including Stephanie Gilmore competed in the Roxy Pro at Snapper Point just hours before the shark was caught. . . Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause said board riders were in a potentially dangerous situation on Wednesday being in the vicinity of a great white shark. . The competition finished at 9:15am and the shark was first reported about 2pm.“The successful removal of this dangerous shark from a popular swimming beach was particularly important given the Quiksilver Pro surfing competition currently underway at nearby Snapper Rocks.”
Nice of them to clear things out before the contest gets rolling again, huh? Then again, it is the ocean. (Sidenote: Love it that Australia’s Today Show comes in off the break to Queens of the Stone Age.
Remember how rad the move Tremors was? Low budget. Great monster worms. Epic Action? Well, what if someone did that same movie, only it was at a shred resort. And the monsters weren’t word, they were sharks? Sadly, someone has already had this very thought, and after watching the trailer all we can say is: Avalanche Sharks is no Tremors. But it was filmed at Mammoth, so it has that going for it. Recognize anyone?
While surfers may get nibbled every other day in Florida, Northern California surfers have a bit different beast to deal with in the form of massive Great White Sharks. Forty-five-year-old Jay Scrivner (great name for a College English teacher) found out in a serious way while surfing near Eureka, California on Sunday morning, October 6, 2013, according to a story in the Press Democrat.
Scrivner regularly surfs at the spot near Humboldt Bay known as the Samoa Peninsula. He was aware that another surfer, Scott Stephens, survived a shark attack in the same area last year. . . Scriver said that “out of nowhere” he saw the shark’s teeth and nose. After he was bitten, he took a swing at the great white and let out what a friend nearby described as a primordial yell. . . “I couldn’t believe it happened,” Scrivner said. “When I turned away from the shark, I said, ‘Did I really get bit?’ Your mind doesn’t believe it.”
Other than a big bite on his left thigh, Scrivner wasn’t missing any body parts so he paddled in. Once on shore friends reportedly applied pressure, and wrapped him in a T-shirt to slow the bleeding and Scrivner made it to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka. Luckily, there was no artery or tendon damage and after getting 30 stitches Scrivner is expected to make a full recovery, according to the story.
[Update: Scrivner is already back to teaching his college classes at College of the Redwoods only 48 hours after getting hit, according to a story in the Times-Standard. That is dedication.]
A 20-year-old German german tourist had her arm bitten off “below the shoulder” by a shark on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 while snorkeling about 50 yards offshore at Palauea Beach on the Hawaiian island of Maui, according to a story in The Garden Isle.
Bystanders on shore heard the woman scream, put her on a kayak and brought her to land, said Lee Mainaga, fire services chief at the Maui Fire Department. Her right arm was severed below the shoulder, he said. The limb wasn’t recovered. . . The woman was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition. A spokeswoman there said Thursday that the hospital had no further information to release.
On Thursday the beach was reopened after officials saw “no sign of sharks in the area.”