When Bull Sharks Attack

Number 6 Matt Bowen
In 2009, Matt Bowen was diving off the coast of Australia when a bull shark brutally bit
into his leg. 24-year-old Bowen was exploring a wreck when
the terrifying attack occurred. He’d initially thought that his diving partner
was playing a prank on him. Bowen then turned around to see that a 10-foot
bull shark had sunken its teeth into his leg. The beast would have torn Bowen’s limb clean
off, if not for his partner’s swift intervention. She rushed to his aid and kicked the animal
until it let go and swam away. Afterwards, they both rose roughly 100 feet
to the surface, where a dive boat picked them up. Bowen described his injury as a “bloody
mess” as there were only shreds of tissue where his calf had been. He was initially treated at a local hospital
in Albany and then transferred to a facility in Perth. He underwent surgery and a series of skin
grafts to fix the damage in his leg. Next up, we look at several cases where bull
sharks ended up on the streets but, first, let’s find out more about these lethal creatures. Bull sharks draw their name from their broad,
flat snout and stocky shape as well as from their aggressive and unpredictable behavior. They’re large and stout with a tail fin
that’s longer than that in other sharks of similar size. They’re typically grey on top of their bodies
and white below. Females, which are the largest of the species,
have a record length of over 13 feet and a maximum weight of 694 pounds. However, it’s believed that these creatures
are capable of attaining larger proportions. Bull sharks are one of, if not the, most dangerous
shark species when it comes to interaction with humans. This is due to their aggressive behavior,
terrifying predatory attributes as well as their ability to thrive both in saltwater
and freshwater. The latter is because of their ability of
adapting osmoregulation, the process by which they maintain a constant concentration of
water in their bodies. Number 5 Bull Sharks on the Streets
After heavy rains, in 2011, the Brisbane River broke its banks and severely flooded the small
town of Goodna, Australia. One local claimed that the eastern part of
Goodna had been basically turned into an aquarium. 42-year-old Steve Bateman went to check on
the flood damage to his butcher shop, which was located about a mile from the river. As he was making his way to the store, a man
in a boat picked him and told him that a shark had been spotted near the shopping center. Bateman arrived at his shop where the floodwater
reached higher than his chest. He pried open the glass doors but suddenly
saw a long shadow and a fin swim past. Bateman was terrified and thought that the
bull shark, which he estimated was a 6-footer, would attack. Fortunately, it swam right past him. For the next few hours, Bateman hid in the
shop, hoping that the predator wouldn’t return. It didn’t, and swam through a McDonald’s
takeaway instead. As incredible as that incident was, this wouldn’t
be the first time that a shark ended up on Australian streets. It happened again, in 2017, in the aftermath
of tropical cyclone Debbie. As the water receded, a bull shark was found
on a road near the town of Ayr, in Queensland. Some of the residents reportedly took teeth
from the shark as souvenirs. A second bull shark was found washed up in
Logan City. No one was hurt but the incidents did serve
as a harrowing reminder of the dangers that lurk in Australian waters. Coming up next, a beach is closed off as over
sixty sharks are circling its shores but, before we get to that, let’s see where bull
sharks can be found on the map. One of the most terrifying aspects about bull
sharks is that they’re diadromous, meaning they can easily swim between fresh and salt
water. They can thrive in both, although their food
and reproductive practices draw them to marine environments more. They’re also highly territorial which is
why attacks on humans have one of the highest rates among shark species. Bull sharks are found worldwide in warm, shallow
waters along coasts and in rivers. They’re solitary sharks and don’t typically
swim deeper than 100 feet. They’re known to live in freshwater lakes
and travel far up rivers. In the Mississippi River, for example, bull
sharks have been found as far as Alton, Illinois, which is about 700 miles from the ocean. They’ve travelled more than 2,500 miles
up the Amazon River, to Peru and north Bolivia. In the Pacific Ocean, bull sharks range from
Baja California to Ecuador. In the Atlantic Ocean they can be found from
Massachusetts to the south of Brazil and from Morocco to Angola. Number 4 Ballina Beach
The beaches of Ballina, in the Australian state of New South Wales, are notorious for
shark attacks. In the past decade, there’ve been several
incidents reported in the region and, in the summer of 2019, one terrifying display highlighted
the perils at Ballina. Surfer and swimmers were ordered to evacuate
the beaches, after over sixty bull sharks were spotted near the shore. It’s believed that they’d gathered to
feed as the tide was going out. Because the water was very clear, the predators
could be spotted by helicopters, drones and bystanders. One surf safety volunteer claimed she’d
never seen anything like it. Even though the water was riddled with dozens
of bloodthirsty predators, some chose to remain in the water, ignoring the warnings and sirens. This was described as a “selfish” act
by Ballina’s mayor since they were risking their own safety as well as that of volunteers
that had gathered on the beach to assist them. Next up, an Australian Navy diver becomes
a double amputee and an eight-year-old boy gets his arm stitched back after a shark attack
but, first, let’s go over how bull sharks can kill you. Pound per pound, the bull shark has the most
powerful bite of all cartilaginous fish species. It has been measured at close to 6,000 newtons. That’s enough to crunch through human bones. The bull shark is also among the most aggressive
shark species and the frequency of attack is increased by its territorial nature and
ability to thrive in freshwater environments. There’ve been dozens of unprovoked attacks
with some having occurred in murky waters, where it’s hard to see the shark coming. Bull sharks have also been cited as having
been responsible for the Jersey Shore attacks of 1916, which inspired the movie “Jaws”. Scholars still debate which species was actually
to blame for the attacks that claimed the lives of four people. Aside from bull sharks, great whites are also
frequently included as suspects. Along with ferocious jaw strength, bull sharks
also own rows of sharp, serrated teeth. As they bite into prey and start shaking their
heads, the teeth act like a saw, tearing off flesh into more manageable chunks. When they hunt, these creatures will employ
a technique called bump-and-bite. They’ll circle and ram prey with their snouts
prior to biting. It’s believed that this enables them to
both disorient and identify their victims. They’ll then continue to bite and tackle
their prey until it’s unable to flee. When used on humans, this technique can result
in severe and even fatal attacks. Number 3 Paul de Gelder
In 2009, Australian Navy diver Paul de Gelder was taking part in a routine military exercise
in Sydney Harbor. As he was swimming near the surface, wearing
fins and a black wetsuit, a bull shark attacked him from beneath. The massive predator clamped on his right
arm and leg, in the same bite, and dragged him underwater. De Gelder said that he could feel as rows
of teeth were shredding through his flesh. He felt like he was drowning while muscles
from his hand and hamstring were being torn off. De Gelder tried to fight back and poke the
bull shark in the eyes, but the beast was relentless in its attack. Just as the man had resigned himself to his
fate, the shark swam away, leaving him in a pool of blood. He returned to the surface alive but in agonizing
pain. As he saw the safety boat approaching, de
Gelder thought that he wouldn’t make it and that the shark would come back to finish
him off. Amazingly, de Gelder survived. However, he’d lost his lower right arm and
leg in the brutal attack. Despite having become a double amputee, he
returned to work for the Navy after three months of rehabilitation. De Gelder would subsequently become a motivational
speaker as well as an author and would travel the world to educate people on how to safely
dive with sharks. Number 2 Jessie Arbogast
Eight-year-old Jessie Arbogast was swimming in waist-deep water off the coast of Florida,
when he was attacked by a 7-foot bull shark. The beast tore his arm clean off and also
ripped his leg open. Jessie’s uncle reacted quickly and carried
the boy to shore where he performed CPR on him until the emergency services arrived at
the beach. As the child was airlifted to a hospital,
his uncle bravely went back into the water and wrestled the bull shark to shore. A park ranger from the Gulf Islands National
Seashore park then shot the animal three times in the head, killing it. The ranger then used his police baton to pry
the shark’s jaws open as a lifeguard reached inside to retrieve Jessie’s arm. The limb was remarkably well-preserved as
the shark had swallowed it whole. It was packed in ice and taken to the hospital. Jessie had arrived in critical condition,
with no pulse, after having lost almost all the blood in his body. The bite that claimed his arm had been unusually
clean for a shark, which is known to tear flesh off with its serrated teeth. This helped surgeons reattach the limb over
the course of a 12-hour-long surgery. The arm had to be shortened so that it would
fit properly, but was expected to regain normal size as the boy grew. Jessie regained consciousness showing signs
that the reattachment had been a success. Our number one listing is about a teenager
who lost a leg and several fingers following an attack in North Carolina. Before we get to that, let’s see what can
be done to survive a bull shark encounter. Surviving a bull shark attack is, in many
ways, similar to the approach you’d take with other big sharks, such as the great white. In order to limit the effectiveness of their
bump-and-bite technique, you can back up against a reef, cliff or rock pile. By doing so, you’d only have to the deal
with the shark attacking you from the front. Eliminating the element of surprise should
give you a fighting chance. Make no mistake about it that if the shark
has one of your limbs in its jaws, fighting back is the only option you have left. Go for the eyes, snout or gills, as these
are the predator’s most sensitive parts. Punch, kick or gouge these areas of the shark’s
body as hard as you can. Use short, compact attacks instead of winding
swings as they’ll meet less water resistance. Once the bull sharks swims away, you’re
next priority is getting professional medical help for the injuries you’ve sustained. If you can, apply pressure to the wounds so
that you limit blood loss until reaching a hospital. Number 1 Paige Winters
In the summer of 2019, teenager Paige Winters was the victim of a shark attack that robbed
her of a leg and several fingers. The 17-year-old was spending the day at the
beach with her family in North Carolina’s Fort Macon State Park. She was swimming close to the shoreline when
the predator attacked her, inflicting deep lacerations to her hand, leg and pelvic areas. The attack could have claimed her life. However, her firefighter father, Charlie,
heroically rushed to Paige’s aid and punched the shark repeatedly in the snout until it
let go of her. The teenager was rushed to a nearby hospital. The bull shark attack left her with an amputated
leg and extensive damage to her hand. A GoFundMe was set up to help with her medical
bills and it exceeded $60,000 within days of the attack. Despite a long road to recovery, the teenager
remained optimistic and an advocate for the protection of marine wildlife. Thanks for watching! Would you rather get attacked by a bull shark
or spend five years alone on a desert island? Let us know in the comments section below!

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