Rodney Fox had been diving for hours when he decided to swim farther offshore into deeper water. It was december 8, 1963, and fox was competing in the south australian spearfishing championships as the defending champion. After he speared a couple of fish some 40-to-50-feet Underwater, Fox saw a dusky morwong, a fish that would earn him high points in the competition.“I was about to pull the trigger when this huge crash knocked me aside and I was pulled through the water,” recalled Mr. Fox, now in his 70s and living in Glenelg, a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia. “I had this flash of a big black train hitting me.” The spear gun was torn from his hands as the great white shark clamped down on Fox’s chest and darted downward.
After gouging its eyes, Fox fell from the shark’s mouth. Instinctively, he tried to push away and climb to the surface. However, the shark chomped down on his arm, but he was able to rip it free. Running out of air, he pushed up and kicked his feet until he reached the surface. And then he looked down…
“I remember seeing it through the pink bloody water coming towards me,” Fox said. “A miracle happened there; the shark, instead of going for me, went straight for the float I was towing behind me, and it swallowed the float and the fish, and then it went down and dragged me with it. I was spinning, spinning, spinning. I was just about out of air. I tried to find the catch and I couldn’t find it and then a miracle happened: The line snapped.” Fox made it to the surface and was rescued. The shark broke every rib in Fox’s left side, ripped open a lung, exposed vital organs, and severed four of his tendons in his arm.
Why sharks attack
Ralph Collier, the president of the nonprofit foundation Shark Research Committee, doesn’t believe that most attacks on humans are the result of the shark mistaking the subject for a regular meal. “The majority of white shark attacks are quite gentle considering what they are capable of. It’s because they’re investigating. They’re testing,” said Collier. “If they wanted to eat us, they would.” In addition, some attacks indicate displacement behavior, when a shark is trying to get something perceived as threatening to leave an area. This could be an area where they’re feeding or where a female shark had decided to give birth, Collier said. Collier, who noted sharks have good vision and can see color, cited incidents when sharks bump kayaks or people, rather than killing them, or bite people in a manner that isn’t necessarily deadly. “We have to stop and think, ‘What does the shark know about its environment?’ It knows all the things that naturally occur there,” he said. “When something unnatural is around, it attracts their curiosity.”
Shark in the wild
Collier recommends humans must use common sense around sharks, like any … Read the rest