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. 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, Age Date Location Species Comments
Arthur Medici, 26 September 15, 2018 Wellfleet, Massachusetts Unconfirmed, presumed to be a great white shark At around noon on Saturday September 15, Medici was attacked near Newcomb Hollow Beach on Cape Cod, and was transferred to Cape Cod Hospital. He died in the hospital a few hours later, in the first fatal shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.[1][2] This attack occurred only a few weeks after another man was non-fatally injured by what was determined to be a great white shark in the nearby town of Truro.[3]
Margaret C. Cruse, 65 April 29, 2015 Maui, Hawaii unconfirmed, presumed to be a Tiger shark[4] Cruse, a resident of Kihei, Hawaii, was bitten in the upper torso while snorkeling by an unknown species of shark at a popular surfing spot known as "The Dumps" near Makena, Maui. Her lifeless body was found floating face-down by other snorkelers. She also lost an arm in the attack.[5][6]
Patrick A. Briney, 57 December 2, 2013 Maui, Hawaii unconfirmed, presumed to be a Tiger shark Briney, 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.[7]
Jana Lutteropp, 20 August 14, 2013 Maui, Hawaii unconfirmed, presumed to be a Tiger shark[8] 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.[9][10]
Francisco Javier Solorio Jr., 39 October 23, 2012 Surf Beach, California Great white shark Solorio 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.[11][12]
Lucas McKaine Ransom, 19 October 22, 2010 Surf Beach, California Great white shark[13][14][15] 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.[13][15] 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).[14]
Stephen Howard Schafer, 38 February 3, 2010 Stuart Beach, Florida Bull shark[16] 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.[17][18][19][20]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Richard A. Snead, 60 September 12, 2009 Unconfirmed Snead 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.[21] 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.[22][23]
David Roger Martin, 66 April 25, 2008 Great white shark Martin 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.[24]
Jamie Marie Daigle, 14 June 25, 2005 Bull shark Daigle 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. Her left leg was severed and she died of massive blood loss.[25]
Randy Fry, 50 August 15, 2004 Great white shark Fry 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.[26][27]
Willis R. McInnis, 57 April 7, 2004 Tiger shark Attacked 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.[28]
Courtney Marcher, 22 April 4, 2004 Unconfirmed, possibly a tiger shark Marcher 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.[29] Unusual serrated markings on the board's ankle leash were suggestive of shark involvement,[30] but analysis by the state Shark Task Force proved inconclusive, with experts divided as to what the marks represented.[29][31] 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.[29][31] On the day she vanished, wave faces averaged 6 feet (1.8 m), but she was described as healthy and a strong swimmer.[29][31]
Deborah Blanche Franzman, 50 August 19, 2003 Great white shark Franzman 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.[32][33] 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.[34] According to witnesses, Franzman was swimming with seals alongside a line of buoys in a full wetsuit before the animals "suddenly scattered".[33] 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.[35] Her wounds included a severed femoral artery.[34] Franzman was only the second shark-related fatality in San Luis Obispo County history since the April 1957 death of Peter Savino.[35]
Eric Reichardt, 42 September 16, 2001 Unconfirmed, possibly a bull shark or tiger shark This 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.[36]
Sergei Zaloukaev, 28 September 3, 2001 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull shark or a tiger shark Zaloukaev 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.[21][37]
David Peltier, 10 September 1, 2001 Unconfirmed, possibly a bull shark Peltier 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.[37]
Thadeus Kubinski, 69 August 30, 2000 Bull shark Kubinski 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).[38][39]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Nahid Davoodabai, 29 March 18, 1999 Unconfirmed, presumed to be a tiger shark This 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.[40]
James Willie Tellasmon, 9 November 21, 1998 Tiger shark Killed while swimming off Ocean Beach, Jaycee Park, Indian River County, Florida, US Coast Guard Station Fort Pierce recovered the body the following day. The nature of the wounds allowed experts to conclusively establish the shark was a tiger shark, about 6 feet (1.8 m) long.[20]
William Covert, 25 September 13, 1995 Bull shark A 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, 42 December 9, 1994 Great white shark Robinson 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, 25 April 16, 1994 Great White Shark [41] von 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.[42]
Jim Broach January 31, 1994 Tiger shark Broach was killed while surfing at Velzyland on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.
Daniel McMoyler December 1993 Tiger shark On 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, 18 November 5, 1992 Tiger shark Romento 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.[43]
Bryan Adona, 29 February 19, 1992 Tiger shark Adona 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.[44]
Martha Joy Morrell, 41 November 26, 1991 Tiger shark Fatally 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.[45]
Suk Kyu (Steve) Park November 19, 1991 Tiger shark Park 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.[46]
Roy T. Tanaka February 17, 1990 Tiger shark Tanaka 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.[47]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Ray Mehl, Jr. October 14, 1989 Tiger shark This 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.[47]
Tamara McAllister, 24, Roy Jeffrey Stoddard, 24 January 26, 1989 Great white shark McAllister 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, 38 September 13, 1988 Bull shark Martin 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 Goo April 15, 1988 Unconfirmed This 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.[48]
Daniel Kennedy April 15, 1987 Unconfirmed Kennedy 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.[48]
Levi Chandler April 20, 1986 Unconfirmed Chandler 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.[48]
Male diver, 67 August 1985 Unconfirmed This 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, 28 September 15, 1984 Great white shark Conger 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).[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]
Mark Adams, 42 October 1982 Unconfirmed He was caught in a tropical storm along with John Lippoth, Meg Cooney Brad Cavanagh and Deborah Scaling Kiley in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on a raft with no survival equipment and was attacked.
Lewis Archer Boren, 24 December 19, 1981 Great white shark Boren 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.[52] 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.[52] 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.[52] 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.[52] 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.[52]
Mark Meeker, 26 September 15, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Meeker 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, 19 August 10, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark A 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. Garletts May 21, 1981 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Garletts 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.[53]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Unidentified male 1979 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark This 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.[54]
Danson Nakaima 1976 bull shark Nakaima 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.[54]
Stephen C. Powell July 16, 1976 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Killed by a shark while scuba diving off Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii, only the lower portion of Powell's body was recovered.[54]
John Carter, 17 July 20, 1974 Unconfirmed Carter 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, 10 July 2, 1974 Oceanic whitetip shark While 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 Temple October 14, 1972 Oceanic 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.[55][56] 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.[56][57] 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.[56] 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.[56][57] Gilliam and McIlvaine successfully surfaced and survived; Temple's body was never recovered. This may be the deepest shark attack on record.[55]
Ernie Reathaford March 31, 1970 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Swept 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.[54]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Unidentified male September 20, 1967 Tiger shark This 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.[58]
LTJG John W. Gibson, 25 April 20, 1963 Galapagos shark Gibson 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).[59] 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.[60][61] 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).[59] 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.[62] This is the first authenticated attack in the Virgin Islands.[59]
Roy C. Kametani April 8, 1963 Tiger shark Kametami 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.[48]
Hans Fix, 40 August 19, 1962 Bull shark Fix was killed while surf fishing in waist-deep water at Andy Bowie Park, Padre Island, near Port Isabel, Texas.
Jacob Horn, 45 October 1961 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Presumed killed by a shark; Horn's mutilated body washed ashore near Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida.
William J. Dandridge, 23 June 24, 1961 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Killed 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 Riley December 27, 1960 Tiger shark Swept 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.[58]
Young Marine Recruit August 1960 Unconfirmed This victim was killed while swimming from camp off Parris Island, South Carolina.


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Lt. James C. Neal, 26 August 15, 1959 Unconfirmed Neal 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.[63] 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.[64] 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.[63]
Robert Lyell Pamperin, 33 June 14, 1959 Great white shark Pamperin 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.[49] 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.[49][65] 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.[66]
Albert Kogler, Jr., 18 May 7, 1959 Great white shark Kogler was killed while swimming in less than 15 feet (4.6 m) of water off Baker Beach, San Francisco, California.
William S. Weaver, 15 December 13, 1958 Tiger shark While 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.[67]
Sailor from tuna vessel, 22 December 12, 1958 Tiger shark A 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, 35 July 10, 1958 Unconfirmed Autopsy report concluded Escartin was bitten by a shark off Key West, Monroe County, Florida while still alive.
Rupert Wade, 57 July 15, 1957 Great white shark Wade was killed while swimming in the surf at Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, Carteret County, North Carolina.
Peter Savino, 25 April 28, 1957 Great white shark Savino was killed at approximately 1:30 p.m. while swimming with a friend, Daniel Hogan, 22, off Atascadero Beach, Morro Bay, California.[68][69] 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.[49] 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.[49]
Sailor from tuna vessel, 28 August 8, 1955 Blue shark A 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, 27 January 6, 1955 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Mizokawa 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.[70]
Harold Souza, 15 July 26, 1953 Tiger shark Souza was killed while spearfishing off Maile Beach, Oahu, Hawaii. A 10-foot (3.0 m) shark was observed in the vicinity.[67]
Leonard Gant April 15, 1953 Tiger shark Gant was killed by a shark off McGregor Point, Maui, Hawaii swimming after canoe he was in became swamped.
Gordon S. Chun April 8, 1953 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Swept into the sea while fishing from shore, Chun's recovered body was mutilated by sharks. He may have drowned near Wailupe, Oahu, Hawaii.[67]
Arthur Barry Lyle Wilson, 17 December 7, 1952 Great white shark Wilson 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.[71] 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.[71] 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.[72] 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.[73] 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.[71] The attack, which was witnessed by scores of beachgoers, is the first "authenticated" attack on the California coast.[71]
Gerbacio Solano, 40 December 3, 1952 Tiger shark Solano 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.[67]
Shigeichi Kawamura August 3, 1952 Tiger shark Kawamura 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.[67]
Male Pan Am pilot 1952 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming near Key West, Florida, the man was bitten in the groin area.
Alejandro Nodura June 25, 1951 Tiger shark Swept out to sea while fishing at Kapehu Beach, Hawaii, the victim was last seen in the shark's mouth.[67]
Gilbert S. Hotta January 16, 1950 Tiger shark While 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.[67]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Ralph Reginald Rives, Jr., 20 August 4, 1947 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Attacked 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 Kuntsler May 8, 1945 Unconfirmed Kunstler was killed while swimming in Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
A. Thompson, Jr., 16 June 16, 1937 Unconfirmed Killed 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., 16 July 25, 1936 Great white shark Attacked 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, 38 September 21, 1935 Bull shark Fountain was killed while swimming in Browns Inlet on the New River near Onslow Beach, North Carolina.
Richard Clark Best, Jr., 11 June 20, 1934 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Best was killed while standing in the surf at Melbourne, Florida.
Thomas N. Martin, 24 April 10, 1933 Unconfirmed, probably a bull or tiger shark Martin was killed in the surf at Miami Beach, Florida.
George Gaspar September 2, 1931 Tiger shark Gaspar 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.[74]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Unidentified boy 1926 Unconfirmed This victim was killed by a shark in Sea Bright, New Jersey.
William J. Goins May 18, 1926 Great white shark Goins 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.[74]
Professor Winslow November 1924 Unconfirmed Winslow died after both legs and arms were severely bitten by a shark in Santurce, Puerto Rico.
Miss Bourne December 15, 1922 Unconfirmed Bourne died after her leg was bitten by a shark in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Dorothy MacLatchie, 18 June 17, 1922 Unconfirmed Killed by a "monster fish", MacLatchie was floating next to the Municipal Pier in St. Petersburg, Florida.


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Unidentified male April 6, 1919 Unconfirmed This fisherman was knocked into the water and killed in the Florida Keys.
Tadaicai Mayamura November 1918 Unconfirmed Mayamura, 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.[75]
Watson "Stanley" Fisher, 24 July 12, 1916 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark[39] 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.[76]
Lester Stillwell, 11 July 12, 1916 Unconfirmed, experts are divided whether it was a bull or immature great white shark[39] Stillwell was killed while swimming with playmates in Matawan Creek, a narrow, brackish, tidal river near Matawan, New Jersey.[76]
Charles Bruder, 27 July 6, 1916 great white shark[39] Bruder was killed while swimming approximately 130 yards (120 m) from shore in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Both legs were bitten off.[76]
Charles Van Sant, 23 July 1, 1916 great white shark[39] 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 [76]
Okomoto March 3, 1914 Unconfirmed Washed into the sea while picking opihi at Honomu, Hawaii, Okomoto was killed by two large sharks.[74]
John Bloomquist September 23, 1911 Unconfirmed, probably a bull shark Bloomquist was killed by a shark in the Galveston, Texas ship channel after he jumped overboard to rescue a companion.
Ship's pilot September 20, 1911 Unconfirmed This victim fell overboard and was killed by a shark while swimming in Pensacola Bay, Santa Rosa County, Florida.
Unidentified male 1910 Unconfirmed This victim was attacked while fishing at Hilo, Hawaii.[74]


Name, Age Date Species Location; Comments
Ah Kim Chong, 19 April 10, 1909 Unconfirmed The 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.[77]
Unidentified male January 17, 1908 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite at Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.[78]
Japanese fisherman January 8, 1908 Unconfirmed Killed by a shark while gathering fish stunned by dynamite in Mana, Kauai, Hawaii.[78]
Japanese fisherman 1907 Unconfirmed, probably a tiger shark Fell into the water and killed by a shark while net fishing near Pepeekeo, Honomu, Hawaii.[78]
Belton Larkin March 31, 1907 Bull shark Killed 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 Davis July 29, 1905 Unconfirmed Killed while wading at Davis Shore, east of Beaufort, North Carolina.
Unidentified man 1904 Tiger shark Man 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 Kitchin c. 1903 Tiger shark Killed while fishing at Koko Head, Oahu, Hawaii. His foot was recovered two days later from a shark.
Hawaiian boy August 2, 1902 Tiger shark Killed while catching crabs at Kalihi, Oahu, Hawaii. Both arms were severed.[78]
Unidentified Coast Guard Personnel 1900–1905 Unconfirmed Killed while swimming at Ocracoke Inlet, North Carolina.
Emil Uhlbrecht and an unidentified person July 14, 1900 Tiger shark Uhlbrecht 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.[78]

Before 1900[edit]

Name, age Date Species Location, Comments
Delano Wood, 15 Summer 1895 Bull shark Killed by a 10-foot (3 m) long shark while swimming in the Trout River, Panama Park near Jacksonville, Florida.
Capt. George Jacob Hanscheldt 1853 or 1854 Unconfirmed Knocked overboard and killed by a shark near Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, Florida.
Charles Chambers 1852 Unconfirmed Killed while wading ashore from a capsized vessel in Mount Pleasant, Charleston County, South Carolina.
James Kinney March 1851 Tiger Shark Killed while swimming in Honolulu Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii.
Crew member of a pilot boat c. 1840 Unconfirmed, probably a Great white shark Killed 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 Blaney July 12, 1830 Great white shark While fishing from a dory 5 miles (8 km) east of Scituate, Massachusetts.
Unidentified male 1828 Unconfirmed, presumed to be a tiger shark The 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."[79]
Nu'u-anu-pa'ahu 1779 Unconfirmed, presumed tiger shark The 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.[79]
Unknown Male June 1771 Unconfirmed, probably Great White Shark. This man was in off the coast of Massachusetts a boat with 2 other men when a shark came and bumped him out of the boat, biting him into 2. Another man shot the shark and brought the shark ashore, where the cut the open, and buried the mans remains.[80]
Antony Van Corlear 1642 Unconfirmed, presumed bull shark The 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."[81] This may be the earliest recorded shark attack in the New World.[81]

See also[edit]



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General references

External links[edit]