Shark Attack?

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Patricia
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Shark Attack?

Post by Patricia »

I've heard that a British tourist was recently attacked swimming near the Starfish Resort. He apparently lost his arm and leg. I understand the government has closed several beaches in the area.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/0 ... rk-attack/
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Re: Shark Attack?

Post by Armand »

Sad news indeed. Let's hope the poor victim makes a good recovery. And also let's hope the Bull Shark is caught soon.
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Re: Shark Attack?

Post by Steve Wooler »

Hello Patricia

Very sadly, this is true.

As with most things related to Trinidad & Tobago, getting hard facts and truth is proving nigh on impossible. I have been unable to determine the exact nature of the poor victims injuries. Initial press reports claimed that he had lost an arm and a leg, but more responsible sources now indicate that whilst the injuries are undoubtedly serious, they are not as bad as first reported. According to the BBC, he has sustained serious injuries to his left arm, leg and stomach and medics have been working hard to reattach some fingers. I'm sure I speak for all our readership when I send our best wishes to this visitor and his family.

Quite responsibly, the government have closed all the beaches and sea activities along this stretch of Caribbean coast - from Plymouth to Crown Point. Efforts are being made to locate and deal with the Bull Shark responsible.

Without in any way wishing to diminish the seriousness of this situation, may I please stress to readers unfamiliar with the region that incidents like this are almost unique. In fact, in the 65 years that I have been visiting Tobago, this is the FIRST time that I have heard of a visitor being attacked or injured by a shark. Non-aggressive species of shark are actually common in Caribbean waters, but not aggressive species like Bull sharks. Believe you me, Tobago wouldn't be such a popular scuba diving destination if sharks were an issue. Bull sharks are more commonly found further north, in the central Caribbean and off the eastern and southern coasts of the USA. They are not normally seen in the waters around Trinidad and Tobago.
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Robert T
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Re: Shark Attack?

Post by Robert T »

Very sad indeed. I wish him a very speedy full recovery.

As Steve says bull sharks aren't really abundant in the waters of Tobago. During my 20 fishing trips to the island I have never encountered a large bull shark while fishing either from the shore or spending literally hours in the water wading. And when I'm in Tobago I fish all day everyday. The only bull sharks I have ever come in contact with were a small one I caught in the back of Pigeon Point in 2010 and an even smaller one I hooked in the Petit Trou lagoon last November. I have bumped into Lemon and Caribbean reef sharks of all sizes countless times but they all turned out to be more scared than me. On the other hand I have heard about large bull sharks cruising in the shallows at Sandy Point, and some drone footage showing some large bull sharks swimming in Petit Trou lagoon. So they are definitely around in some numbers.

My local friend sent me some footage of the shark responsible for the attack that happened on Friday. It was taken in Bon Accord lagoon showing a large bull shark calmly cruising by the boats being absolutely undisturbed by the commotion made by a large group of people nearby. In my opinion this particular bull shark, judging by its behaviour will remain a real threat to the beachgoers as long as it lives.
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Re: Shark Attack?

Post by Robert T »

Image A large bull shark was caught yesterday in Buccoo. Could it be the culprit? Who knows..
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Re: Shark Attack?

Post by Steve Pitts »

It's been a while, so apologies for my absence.

Robert's witness reports of small bull sharks in shallow sheltered waters are potentially indicative of breeding females using Petit Trou and Bon Accord lagoons as birthing sites ... bull sharks give birth to live young and then leave them to fend for themselves.

Those familiar with the River Monsters series may recall presenter and angler Jeremy Wade investigating bull shark attacks in South Africa. The title of the program is ''Hidden Predator'' as, despite their size, bull sharks quite often go unnoticed in murky coastal water and rivers.

Because of the bull shark's propensity to enter coastal waters, estuaries and even fresh water they probably come into contact with humans more so than any other shark species and have the reputation of being the shark species with the most human fatalities to its name.

Clearly; Mr Smith was incredibly unlucky to encounter and be bitten by a bull shark, but lucky enough to survive, thank goodness
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