by Ron Brooks
Dateline: June 12, 2000
This past weekend, a double shark attack occurred to swimmers on the beach at Orange Beach, Alabama. According to reports, a huge bull shark took one swimmers right arm off and then took several swipes at the right side, legs and arms of another swimmer.
Like other reported shark attacks, there was no known provocation to bring about the bites. The shark simply attacked one man, taking his hand off, and then turned on the second man, chasing him all the way to the beach.
Even with this attack, statistics say that you are ten times more likely to be killed by bees than by a shark attack I'm not sure what the odds on the bees by themselves are. But this does bring up a point that needs to be made.
I have caught more sharks than I can count, from a foot long to over sixteen feet long. I once brought a shark to the surface on a hand line that was so large under the seventeen foot boat we were in, that we quickly cut the rope hand line and prayed that the shark would not thrash his tail, fearing an overturned boat. Yes, he was that big.
But it was always the smaller sharks that caused me the most pain, maybe because I took them for granted, or maybe because they are quicker than the larger sharks. More than once, a shark less than 30 pounds kicked up out of the water when brought to the boat, and grabbed the metal hand rail on the boat. Broken shark teeth scattered everywhere as teeth and metal met. Only once did one actually get me, and that was luckily just a knick.
What made the shark come out of the water grabbing at anything? Was he particularly aggressive? It couldn't have been a coincidence because it has happened several times!
Whatever the reason, I am very careful with every shark that I bring to the boat. I gladly cut the leader and give up the hook. I know what they can do, and I respect them for every tooth in their head!
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