Beach Nightmares

Terrifying Close Encounters with Sharks

Loving all the Shark Week coverage? How about some reality: Victoria Kezra presents some scary run-ins.

Landov; Getty; AP

Landov; Getty; AP

Landov; Getty; AP

Loving all the Shark Week coverage? How about some reality: Victoria Kezra presents some scary run-ins, from a Cape Cod kayaker to a Florida tourist and an Australian surfer missing a part of his thigh.

Kem McNair/Barcroft Media via Getty

Hang Ten

Surfers Kern McNair and Skipper Eppelin shouldn’t have been surprised to see a Black Tip shark coming to ride the waves with them in 2008. This shot was taken at Florida’s New Smyrna Beach, known as the shark-bite capital of the world.

Shelly Negrotti/AP

Snack Time

The ocean may look calm, but there’s something lurking below. Walter Szulc Jr. was paddling his kayak when he turned to see the fin of an approaching shark at Nauset Beach in Orleans, Mass., in the summer of 2012. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but it certainly wasn’t the first or last sighting in the area. A few days before, two sightings were reported, and the previous week a great white was seen off Chatham as the first confirmed sighting of the season. The reason why so many sharks are drawn to the area is no mystery: it’s filled with seals, a favorite snack of theirs.

Barcroft Media/Landov

Friendly Fins

This August 2008 screen grab shows a California woman taking a refreshing dip at Marina del Rey. A KTLA news helicopter caught the image on camera of the woman swimming near a school of leopard sharks, unaware that they’d decided to join her. When she realized they were near she quickly headed for shore, but there was no need. Leopard sharks are docile and not known to attack humans.

Torsten Blackwood/Getty via AFP

Up Close

Swimmers at Sydney’s Oceanworld had the opportunity to swim with gray nurse sharks and even snap photos like this one. Outside the amusement park, however, local triathlon athletes were worried about less friendly sharks in the water. The solution was simple: divers riding underwater scooters with sonar to scare the sharks away. They tried just that during the World Cup triathlon in Sydney Harbour in 2000.

Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty

Scar Tissue

Australian surfer Glen Folkard shows off a nasty scar and a busted surfboard following a 2012 shark attack. Folkard was surfing at Redhead Beach when a bull shark lunged for his board, knocked him into the water and dragging him underwater locked in its powerful jaws. The surfer did manage to get safely to shore, but not before the shark took a chunk of his thigh.

Richard Bouhet/AFP via Getty

Making Waves

Thankfully, no one was hurt when a shark attacked a small boat off La Houssaye cape in October 2011. The boat, however, was not so lucky.

Paul Sakuma/AP

Shark Attack Survivor

Eric Tarantino was lucky to leave the hospital at all. After a 2011 San Jose shark attack, the California surfer sustained bits to his his neck, arm, and hands.

Phil Walter/Getty via AFP

Narrow Escape

This 10-year-old surfer thought the gray area behind him was a rock, until the water around him turned red. Seven years ago, while catching waves in Auckland, New Zealand, Elliot Paerata-Reid was bitten by a shark and escaped with an injured foot.

Jim Tucker/AP

Vacation Fail

This was not the vacation Armin Trojer expected. First responders rushed to treat the 19-year-old after he was bitten in the ankle by a shark off Boca Grande, Fla., in 2005. Trojer was swimming in chest-deep water while on vacation at the popular tourist spot when he was attacked. The vacation could have been much worse—after being airlifted to a hospital, he was declared in good condition.

Jamie-Andrea Yanak/AP

Moving On

In this photo from the Kalahari Water Park, surfer Bethany Hamilton hangs five instead of 10. When she was 15, Hamilton made headlines when she lost her left arm in a shark attack in Kauai, Hawaii. She’s since gone on to compete in surfing events around the world and has appeared on numerous shows. She was also the subject of a short documentary film and had a feature film and book based on her ordeal, both called Soul Surfer.

Tasmania Police/Landov

Tasmanian Danger

This surfboard won’t be seeing much action after having a large chunk taken out by a shark near St. Helens, Tasmania. The damaged board was featured on handouts given out around Australia in 2009, after three shark attacks in two days incited mass panic. However, the truth is that humans are the bigger threat, killing millions of sharks each year.