Jaws Strikes Again

Monday one of the most feared predators in the ocean struck off the Australian coast killing a Japanese surfer, Tadashi Nakahara.

Tadashi, 41 years old, was surfing Shelly Beach in Ballina, New South Wales when a 10 foot shark attacked taking off both of his legs causing severe blood loss.  And despite the efforts of his heroic friends the loss of blood was to severe and took his life. 

Just 30 minutes north and within 24 hours, in Seven Mile Beach of Byron Bay another surfer, Jabez Reitman,  fell victim to a shark but was far lucky than Tadashi and only suffered minor wounds.  

Currently, the region has shark experts investigating what kind of shark killed Tadashi and attacked Reitman but what is more scary than the species is the possibility of the attacks being related.

Is there a shark out there prowling the coast that has developed a taste for humans?  

Tiger or Great White people are terrified and while Australia is notorious for shark attacks it still leaves a heavy feeling in the air and spreads uneasiness across the area.

The Taronga Conservation Society keeps records of all shark attacks and since 1791 there have been 978 of which 233 have been fatal.  If you do the math that is about one-quarter of all shark attacks being fatal and the average per year for a fatal attack is one person.  
Australian Geographic has put together a timeline of all the shark attacks in Australia from 2002 to today:

Source: Australian Geographic.com.au

9 February, 2015: Japanese national Tadashi Nakahara, 41, is killed at Shelly Beach, at Ballina, in northern NSW. A local surf shop employee, he was believed to be taken by a great white shark while he was out surfing.
29 December, 2014: Jay Muscat, is killed at Chaeynes Beach, east of Albany in Western Australia.
15 December, 2014: Daniel Smith, 18, of Mossman, is killed while fishing at Rudder Reef, off the coast of Port Douglas.
9 September, 2014: Paul Wilcox, 50, is found floating and is unable to be resuscitated after being pulled from the water near Clarkes Beach at Byron Bay. Wiitnesses saw a 3m great white in the area immediately after the attack.
3 April, 2014: Christine Armstrong, 63 is taken by a suspected bronze whaler shark as she lagged behind her daily swimming group at Tathra Beach, NSW. 
29 November, 2013: Zac Young, 19, dies from cardiac arrest after being attacked by a shark while bodyboarding with friends near Riecks Point north of Coffs Harbour in NSW.

23 November 2013: Chris Boyd, 35, is attacked by a shark, believed to be a great white, while surfing at the popular surf break Umbries off Gracetown in WA.
14 July 2012: Ben Linden, 24, is killed while surfing near Wedge Island, Western Australia, 180km north of Perth. A witness who tried to help said the shark swam away with the body.
31 March 2012: Peter Kurmann, 33, is taken in south-western WA while diving in the Port Geographe Marina. His brother, who was diving with him, tried to fight off the shark with a knife.
22 October, 2011: American tourist George Thomas Wainwright, 32, sustains horrific injuries and dies while scuba diving off Rottnest Island.
10 October, 2011: Bryn Martin, 64, disappears at Cottesloe Beach and is presumed a shark attack victim. Only his damaged Speedos were found.
4 September, 2011: Kyle Burden, 21, is taken by a shark while bodyboarding with friends at Bunker Bay, near Dunsborough, in Western Australia.

17 February 2011: An abalone diver is taken in an attack by two sharks, believed to be great whites, while surfacing near Perforated Island in Coffin Bay, South Australia.
17 August 2010: A 31-year-old man dies from serious injuries after being attacked by a shark while surfing near Gracetown in Western Australia’s south-west.
27 December 2008: Fisherman Brian Guest, 51, is taken by a great white while snorkelling at Port Kennedy in Perth’s south. His son and beachgoers saw the shark attack and swim off with him in its mouth.
8 April 2008: A 16-year-old boy from Wollongbar is killed by a shark while bodyboarding off Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach on the NSW north coast.
7 January 2006: Sarah Kate Whiley, 21, is mauled by up to three bull sharks while swimming in waist-deep water with friends at Amity Point, off south-east Queensland’s North Stradbroke Island. 

24 August 2005: Marine biologist Jarrod Stehbens, 23, is taken by a shark, believed to be a great white, while diving for cuttlefish eggs with colleagues off Adelaide’s Glenelg Beach.

Large sharks, such as these five species, range far and wide and visit multiple levels of the water column.
(Credit: Australian Geographic). 
19 March 2005: Geoffrey Brazier, 26, is attacked by a 6m-long shark, believed to be a great white, while snorkelling near the Abrolhos Islands, off Geraldton, 500km north of Perth.

16 December 2004: Nick Peterson, 18, is killed instantly when attacked by a great white shark while he was being towed behind a boat on a surfboard 300m off Adelaide’s popular metropolitan West Beach.
11 December 2004: Mark Thompson, 38, is attacked by a shark while spear fishing with two friends at Opal Reef, about 75km from Cairns in North Queensland. He died from a cardiac arrest soon after the attack.
10 July 2004: Brad Smith, 29, is attacked by two sharks, believed to be a great white and a large bronze whaler, while surfing near Gracetown in Western Australia’s south-west.
8 February 2003: Bob Purcell, 84, is attacked by a 2.5m bull whaler while swimming in Burleigh Lake on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
16 December 2002: Beau Martin, 23, is attacked while swimming in Miami Lake on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
30 April 2002: Scallop diver Paul Buckland, 23, is dragged from a mate’s arms by a 6m-long great white while trying to get on board a boat in Smoky Bay in the Great Australian Bight, South Australia.
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

That is quite the list and it makes me wonder what the stats are here in the States.
Are attacks for common on the West Coast than the East?
According to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Ichthyology Department Florida has been the worst for shark attacks fatal and non-fatal since 1837 to 2013 ranking worse than Hawaii.

Total attacks: 687
Fatal attacks: 11
Last fatality: 2010

Total attacks: 49
Fatal attacks: 4
Last fatality: 2013
Total attacks: 35
Fatal attacks: 5
Last fatality: 1993
Total attacks: 24
Fatal attacks: 0
Last fatality:

Total attacks: 110
Fatal attacks: 10
Last fatality: 2012

South Carolina
Total attacks: 77
Fatal attacks: 2
Last Fatality: 1852

North Carolina
Total attacks: 48
Fatal attacks: 3
Last fatality: 2001

Total attacks: 38
Fatal attacks: 2
Last fatality: 1962

Total attacks: 26
Fatal attacks: 0
Last fatality:

New Jersey
Total attacks: 15
Fatal attacks: 5
Last fatality: 1926

Total attacks: 12
Fatal attacks: 0
Last fatality:
> > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
No one can predict when a shark attack will happen and to who but you can take precautionary measures when swimming in the ocean.
Also, consider it a wilderness experience and understand that you are a visitor.

1.  Always swim, surf, or dive with other people and stay in a group.

2.  Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk, as this is the time when some species move closer to shore to feed.

3. If bleeding in any way or have open wounds stay out of the water.  Sharks can smell blood in extremely small concentrations from miles away.  Do not make yourself and others a target.

4. Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances, and areas near stream mouths, channels, or steep drop offs as they are frequented by sharks.

5. Do not swim in jewelry or shiny bathing suits.  Sharks can see contrast very well and could mistake it for the scales of a fish.

6. Avoid excessive splashing because sharks could mistake you for prey.

7. If sharks are present do not enter water and if one is sighted leave the water quickly and calmly.  NEVER PROVOKE OR HARASS a shark.

8. Observe the nature around you and if other animals start to behave erratically, leave the water.  The presence of dolphins could mean sharks also as they are prey from some large sharks.

9. If spear fishing remove speared fish immediately or tow them at a safe distance behind you.  And do not swim near people fishing or spearfishing and avoid dead animals in the water.

10.  Also swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards.

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