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Sharks serial killers

Sharks serial killers


Cases of shark attacks on humans in the same area for a limited period of time are known to many from mass media.

Repeated attacks, in a confined space for a limited period of time are called serial. To serial attacks the recently sensational tiger shark attacks on tourists in Egypt and a number of shark attacks in perfectly safe Russias Primorye can be attributed as well.

This article will present in chronological order the events of Summer of Sharks in New Jersey, where the most cruel serial shark attacks on humans are recorded.


Shark attacks in New Jersey

In 1916 the first case of shark attacks in the State of New Jersey (USA), which made a lot of noise, occurred. In a short time the sharks made several attacks in the beach area and in the bed of the small river - Matawan Creek. Four people died as a result of attacks.

The 25-year-old inhabitant of Philadelphia Charles Vansent, who arrived on vacation with his family to the resort town of Beach Haven, became the first victim of sharks. On July, 1 he was attacked by a shark on the beach, but despite the timely help of rescuers, who literally pulled the young man out from the predators teeth, Charles Vansent died from blood loss and received injuries.

Five days later, on July 6, forty kilometers north of Beach Haven in Spring Lake town, the next shark attack on humans occurred. The 27-year-old employee of one of Charles Bruder hotels became the victim this time. The unsuspecting young man decided to freshen himself up in the sea, when he was attacked by a shark. The rescuers, who have come to his calls for help, dragged his torn body in a lifeboat, but could not help him - Charles died on rescuers hands.

Vacationers on the coast of New Jersey were captured by panic. People were afraid to come close to the water. Swimming was out of the question. Many interrupted hastily their holiday, folded their clothes and went home.

However, the tragic events in New Jersey did not stop. The attacks continued in Matawan town, which is fifty kilometers from Spring Lake.

Local boys were swimming in a small creek that flows around the town, when they firstly saw a shadow and then the shark fin. In horror children rushed to the bank, but not all of them managed to get out of the water. The eleven-year-old teenager Lester Stivell had no time to swim to the bank. The shark grabbed him and dragged him to the depths. The childs cries did not frighten the monster. For a while the boy tried to escape, but soon his cries were drowned and over the tragedy place a bloodstain slowly floating away down the stream remained.

Children rushed to the city for help. The arrived rescuers began to rummage the river bottom in search of the child remains. One of the rescuers, 24-year-old Stanley Fisher, repeatedly dived to the bottom, and finally came across the boy's body. At the moment when he was about to start lifting up, he himself became a victim of a shark attack. The man began to fight for his life furiously, and despite the predators clear advantage in weight and power he was able to escape from the sharks jaws. The rescuers helped him get to the bank in a safe place. Fisher wounds received in the fight with the predator caused horror. His body was severely bitten. The urgent hospitalization did not help, Fisher died on the way, not getting to the operating table. The received injuries were incompatible with life.

And it was not the last tragedy of that day. On the same river lightly downstream, less than a kilometer from the previous tragedy place, where two people died, the shark made its fifth and this time the latest attack on human. The 12-year-old Joseph Dunn was swimming in the river with his friends when he was attacked by the shark teased by blood from its previous attack. Having grabbed him by his leg, it dragged him to the river bottom. Children put a bold face on and immediately reacted to their comrades cries. They, in a literal sense, pulled Joseph out from the sharks jaws.

The childs leg was seriously injured and he was immediately taken to hospital, where surgical and psychological aid was rendered to him. Despite the strong muscles ruptures and broken bones in several places, doctors were able to save his legs, and the child remained alive.

No one could explain the reason for the aggressive behavior of sharks on the coast of New Jersey. But it was the first recorded case of serial shark attacks on humans. Half a century later, these events were reflected in the novel Jaws of P.Benchli.

The shark population, due to New Jersey events, underwent persecution and extermination.

Summer of Sharks

Serial shark attacks on humans occurred in the summer of 2001 on coast of the United States. The aggressive behavior of predators had tragic consequences as well as in the early XX century. These events were reported in the media and on television. The details of the incidents, described by the witnesses, terrified.

The Summer of Sharks, as newspaper people hastened to call the summer of 2001, could become the main event in the press, if not the series of terrorist acts, which distracted the public attention from the predators activity. The tragedy of Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York rammed by suicide bombers became the center of attention for some time, but the Shark Summer was not over yet.

Warm beaches of Florida comforted numerous vacationers. During the summer holidays many families with children of school and pre-school age rushed there.

The media has announced alarming news about the six-gilled shark attack on the eight-year-old child. Jaycee Arbagasta spent the summer under the supervision of his uncle and aunt in Langdon Beach (Florida), where his parents sent him for the holidays. On this day, on July 6th, the boy was swimming near the shore on the city beach. No one noticed that close to the shore a shark swam. It grabbed the child and pulled him to the depths. Adults quickly reacted to the childs cries and rushed to his aid. The child was rescued from sharks jaws, but he was badly disfigured his hand was bitten off and a huge shred of meat was pulled out from his left hip.

The stressful situation woke superpower in Jaycees uncle. Having snatched the nephew out from shark's jaws, he managed to grab its tail and pull out to the shore. When using a stick to unclench its jaws, the child's bitten-off hand was found in the sharks jaws.

The boy was urgently taken to the hospital by helicopter of Rescue Service 911. The childs rescue operation lasted eleven hours. Doctors were able both to save the boy's life, and to sew the lost limb. The rehabilitation period lasted very long, but the child did not achieve a complete psychological recovery. Despite the fact that the physical wounds have healed, Jaycee could not recover from the stress for a long time. Consequences of psychological trauma affected him for quite a long period - the boy slept badly, could not talk for a long time, and, probably, until the end of his life he will be afraid to approach the water.

The case of a shark attack on Jaycee has not stopped people willing to swim in hot summer days. People were not afraid to swim even at the very place where the tragedy nearly occurred. Researchers of the ocean informed about sharks packing along Florida coast, the media was constantly warning to mind the caution and reminding about the impending danger, - but all this did not reduce the number of people willing to freshen themselves up in the sea on hot summer days.

That summer, for the first two months 33 cases of sharks attacks on humans on the coast of the United States were recorded. The media in pursuit of sensation exaggerated the events trying to give ominous color to the most insignificant incident, causing mass hysteria and panic in nervous and impressionable people. Shark attacks on humans occurred in two places all at once during one week - Pensacola and Jacksonville, - the media interpretation was embellished with exaggerated bloody and horrific descriptions of details.

Excessive forcing of danger in the media has led to the opposite effect, and many vacationers lost their vigilance and did not think about the danger.

The Thompsons Mary and Krishna have planned their trip to the Bahamas for a long time. They have scheduled a two weeks vacation, and they did not canceled it. People used to believe that terrible things happen to someone else, not to them personally. Certainly, the Thompsons heard about the sharks and about the increasing number of their attacks. But that did not stop Krishna Thompson. On the fourth of August, 2001 early in the morning he decided to swim in the ocean.

He chose a quiet and calm place for swimming; the depth was less than one and a half meters. The shark appeared suddenly. It grabbed the man's knee and dragged him into the depths. Despite the insupportable pain Krishna fiercely resisted, but he was not strong enough to cope with a three-meter monster, and the shark dragged him further and further from the shore.

With his last ounce of strength Krishna fought for his life, and he managed to pull his leg out from the predators jaws. The remains of his leg horrified him - a bare bone gaped instead of the leg, the meat was completely cut off by sharks sharp teeth.

Having struck several fixed blows to the sharks snout, he demoralized it for a while. It gave him time to get to the shore, using his hands and the remained leg. The man was bleeding, but he tried not to lose his composure, knowing that only it can save him life.

Local rescuers, having rendered him first aid ashore, sent Krishna to a local hospital, where doctors started the patients rescue immediately. The operation lasted six hours, during which the blood gushing forth from the ruptured arteries was stopped, and anti-shock therapy was provided. According to doctors, only courage, strength of mind and will to live helped him stay alive. The medical care provided by the local doctors saved Krishnas life. Further treatment was continued in Miami hospital. The torn leg had to be amputated. Subsequently, Thompson was provided with a perfect biological prosthesis with computer control, which he began to use in one and half month after his wounds healing.

A scandalous fact was soon discovered - sharks were artificially fed near the attack place on Thompson. This was done for the purpose of attracting numerous divers and to give tourists the possibility to observe sharks in their natural environment. In all likelihood the attack was provoked because of that, as sharks unconsciously linked humans presence with food. Across the USA territory the sharks feeding is prohibited, except the Bahamas, where the tourism industry is a major source of the budget.

Predator attacks on humans have not stopped on this. On August 31 of the same summer, another shark attack on humans occurred. Richard Peltier, the father of three sons spent his vacation with them on one of Virginia beaches. He taught his children to ride a surfboard. The boys were playing in the water and did not want to get out to the shore, despite the fact that weather was quite cloudy. The water was clear, and it gave Peltier the opportunity to see the sharks shadow going straight to the place where his children were splashing. He jumped into the water to help his sons. Two boys jumped ashore in a safe place, but the third, a ten-year-old David, had no time. The shark grabbed his leg and dragged him from the shore. The father fought desperately for his child, he beat the predator's eyes, which are the pain points, tried to unclench its jaws, but he simply had not enough strength to do it, the predator was too great. Priest Kevin Hart, who turned out to be nearby came to help the father that has gone mad by despair, and together they managed to free the child from the bloody captivity. But the kid has suffered greatly - he lost a lot of blood, the back side of his leg was completely cut off, he had a painful shock. Despite the best efforts of rescuers and doctors, the boy could not be rescued. He died in a few hours after the incident.

According to the witnesses descriptions the assumptions, that the family was attacked by a six-gilled shark, were made.

In Virginia the David Peltier case became the first fatal incident as a result of sharks and humans collision. In 2001, it was the only fatal incident in the United States as well.

The event resonance was huge. But later it turned out that nothing exceptional happened in 2001, and that the incidents number of sharks attacks on humans in that year did not exceed the average rates. There were years when much more attacks, including fatal ones, were recorded. The Research Center of Florida gave the following statistics:


Total attacks



2 000




2 001




The pursuit of sensation in the press, on television and other media, together with the all-increasing danger from sharks are greatly exaggerated.

However, the danger still existed, and David Peltier was not the latest shark victim in 2001. Two days later, a young couple Natalia Sobodskaya and Sergey Zalukaev became the victims of a shark attack. The tragedy happened in the State of North Carolina (USA).

Young people were swimming in the sea at a depth of no more than two meters, when suddenly Natalia felt a touch at first, and then the terrible pain. The shark attacked two at once. It bit off Sergeys leg and bit Natalia for several times. With his last ounce of strength Sergey helped his girlfriend get to the shore. They were helped by Harry Harken, who has become the witness of the attack, and some more men, who managed to drive away the predator and get the young people to the shore. The guys were badly bit. Sergey died from loss of blood, and Natalia remained disabled.

A tiger shark attacked this time.


The author of the novel Jaws, Peter Benchley, admitted that he did not expect such a reaction of readers to his work. The role of bloodthirsty ruthless killers attributed to sharks, in his opinion, was much exaggerated.

The hype of 2001 round the shark activity raised by the press, forced him to return to the subject of sharks again. He resorted to the popular scientific genre this time. His book Shark Trouble is about the fact that everything in the world is interconnected, and each organism has its purpose in nature, in the ecosystem.

The man appointed himself as the king of nature, but, in all likelihood, he hurried, and there are worlds where one must behave himself more prudently, where there are no carelessness places, and the ocean - is one of those places.

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