Top 10 Historical Shark Attacks in the World

The Top Ten
1 USS Indianapolis (CA-35)

More than 900 men were thrown to the sharks of the Pacific Ocean when their American warship, the USS Indianapolis, was split in two by Japanese torpedoes in July 1945. When rescuers arrived at the spot four days later, they found 579 men dead, with many chewed to pieces by sharks. Only 316 were rescued after nearly four days in the ocean. Many died from dehydration, exposure, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks, in what is believed to be the deadliest attack by the predators.

This was a very famous and horrible story, and it definitely deserves its first place. Great list, definitely deserves its featured label!

2 Shirley Ann Durdin

In 1985, Shirley Ann Durdin was diving in Australia's Peake Bay when she was attacked by a great white shark around 20 feet long. The shark tore the 33-year-old apart in its first bite as her husband and children watched in horror from the shore. By the time rescuers arrived, all that remained was her headless torso floating in the water. Within minutes, the shark returned and devoured all that was left.

That was a very terrible occurrence for the family because:

1. They witnessed the death.
2. They could not bury her, as the shark ate the whole body.

3 Omar Conger

The gruesome death of a 28-year-old diver. Omar Conger was resting vertically in the water and looking out to sea when his friend, Chris Rehm, saw a great white shark rear up out of the water behind him. "It bit him from behind, and while shaking him violently, pulled him under the water," Rehm later told researchers. The shark resurfaced and released Conger, swimming straight at his friend. Rehm pulled his friend onto their dive mat and swam ashore, but Conger bled to death before they reached the shore.

4 Terry Manuel

A 10-foot white shark ripped off Terrence Manuel's right leg in 1974 as he struggled to scramble into a boat driven by his friend, John Talbot. The 26-year-old had been diving for sea snails in 30 feet of water when he suddenly burst through the surface and shouted "shark!" Talbot rushed to save his friend but was unable to prevent the attack and was instead forced to watch as Manuel died in the teeth of that shark at Streaky Bay on the west coast of Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

5 Jersey Shore Shark Attacks of 1916

Four people were killed in shark attacks along the coast of New Jersey in the United States during the heat wave of 1916. The first person killed was 25-year-old Charles Vansant, who bled to death after sharks attacked his thigh as he went for a morning swim. Five days later, Charles Bruder, 27 years old, was killed after a shark attacked his abdomen and bit his legs as he swam off the beach at Spring Lake.

The final attacks took place six days later, on July 12, in Matawan Creek. Lester Stillwell, a 12-year-old local boy, was dragged underwater as he splashed in the creek with friends. Stanley Fisher, 24 years old, plunged into the water to search for Stillwell but was himself attacked by the shark and bled to death. The 12-year-old's mutilated body was found floating 150 feet upstream two days later.

6 Robert Pamperin

In June 1959, Robert Pamperin was searching for sea snails off La Jolla Cove in California when his partner, Gerald Lehrer, heard him scream for help. Turning, Lehrer saw his friend upright and unnaturally high in the water with his mask missing. As he swam closer, Lehrer watched Pamperin slowly disappear into the crimson waves. Diving beneath the surface, he saw his friend being dragged to the sea in the jaws of a 22-foot shark.

Searching the water for his remains, the US Coast Guard found only the mask and the swim fin.

7 Barry Wilson

Swimming in Lover's Point off the Californian coast in 1952, 17-year-old Barry Wilson was seen by witnesses to flip suddenly from side to side. The tuba diver then screamed before witnesses saw a shark rising out of the water to attack him from the front and drag him underwater. Wilson resurfaced seconds later, screaming and flailing his bloody arms in a puddle of blood.

Five fellow swimmers fought with the shark for 30 minutes to drag him back to the beach through the rough waves, but he bled to death before they reached the shore.

8 Randall Fry

Cliff Zimmerman was diving for abalone with his friend Randall Fry off the coast of California in 2004 when a disastrous shark attack occurred. Zimmerman reported that he turned from Fry for a millisecond before hearing a "splashing sound" and feeling strong waves ahead "as if a boat went by." He spun around to see Fry gone and a shark fin surfacing momentarily before the surrounding water turned to blood. Zimmerman swam for his life. His companion's severed head and body were found separately the next day.

9 Rodney Fox

Rodney Fox, then 23 years old, was defending his Australian spear-fishing title in 1963 when a great white shark grabbed him around the middle and dragged him through the water upside down. The predator released him as he gouged its eyes but soon returned and attacked him again. Fox jammed his arm down the beast's throat and pulled it free, ripping the flesh from his arm. The shark released him and then returned a third time to attack him, dragging Fox along the ocean floor.

After nearly drowning, Fox was released and pulled aboard a nearby boat with his ribcage, lungs, and upper stomach exposed. Miraculously, his main arteries remained intact, and he survived after four hours of surgery and 360 stitches. At the hospital, doctors assessed the injuries and determined the tendons in his right hand had been cut, his left lung and clavicle were punctured, all of his ribs were bitten through, and his organs were exposed. He received 462 stitches in his chest, including 29 in his lung, and 92 in his right arm and hand.

10 Brook Watson

The first victim of a shark attack known in history, British merchant sailor Brook Watson was swimming in the harbor of Havana in 1749 when a shark attacked him once and then came back again for more blood. The 14-year-old's crewmates saw the attack and dragged him from the water, saving his life. Despite losing a foot to the shark and later having the leg amputated, Watson went on to serve for nine years as a Member of Parliament before becoming the Lord Mayor of London.

The Contenders
11 Bethany Hamilton Bethany Hamilton is an American surfer from the island of Kauai, Hawaii. In 2003, she lost her left arm to a tiger shark and recovered quickly and was back in the water. She was born on February 8th, 1990 and has touched the hearts of millions with her incredible story
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