Firsthand account of Humboldt shark attack
Shark Research Committee talks to shark attack survivor
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 November, 2012 : - - On October 30, 2012 Scott Stephens, 25, was surfing about 400 yards from shore at the ‘Bunkers' a surfing break at the North Jetty Humboldt Bay. It was 11:50 PM with water and air temperatures estimated at 53 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. The water was 20 feet deep with 5 – 6 feet of underwater visibility.
During a telephone interview Stephens reported; “I was paddling out when the shark came up out of the water striking the board and me simultaneously. I was pulled below the surface and could see the shark, from the head to the dorsal fin, a distance I would estimate to be about 4 – 5 feet. The shark began to shake me back and forth at which point I struck it just behind the eye and it let go and swam off.”
He was assisted to the beach by Blake Barr. Ian Louth, an off-duty EMT applied pressure to Stephens' wounds, while they loaded him into Jason Gabriel's vehicle to be transported to the hospital. Gabriel drove the victim from the water's edge to the intersection of U.S. Highway 101 and Myrtle Avenue, where emergency personnel met them.
He was then transported to St. Joseph Hospital, Eureka for surgery. The victim had about four 12-inch long gashes from his ribs to below his hips. The surfboard has a bite with a diameter of 14 inches, comparable to a 9 – 10 foot Great White Shark. This is the eighth confirmed unprovoked shark attack from the Pacific Coast for 2012 and the seventh from California. Please report any shark sighting, encounter, or attack to the Shark Research Committee.
Related Article: Shark attacks Northern California surfer
Author: Ralph S. Collier
Tags: Shark Attack, Humboldt, Northern California, Great White