Fatal shark attack reported in Mexico. Gulf of California

A fatal shark attack has been reported in Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico on the Gulf of California.

On Dec. 18 Nahum Verdugo Aguilera, 35, was diving for mollusks off Puerto Penasco with a group of divers from the vessel Lidia Isabel.

Aguilera, of San Carlos, Baja California, entered the water around 11 a.m. and was found floating a few moments later.

His two companions saw Aguilera’s gear was damaged as he floated on the water and went to offer assistance.

When they attempted to pull him aboard the boat, they realized a large shark had severed Aguilera’s left leg, lower abdomen and had ripped open his right thigh.

Because of the massive wound, Aguilera had expired quickly.

The group went to shore at Puerto Penasco where police and funeral home representatives met the group. The Ministerial Agency of Criminal Investigation took possession of the fishing panga, a boat commonly used in the area.

According to witnesses, the men were diving an area called Hawey, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) southeast of San Jorge Island, when the shark attacked.

Photos of the victim show injury to the left hand and indicate what appears to be a dislocated shoulder.

The photos also show a bite pattern consistent with a tiger shark. Due to the quickness of the attack, it seems possible that Mr. Aguilera may have jumped on the large shark, which then bit his leg.

Although great white sharks have been known to visit the area in the Gulf of California, also known as the Sea of Cortez, which may be a nursery for the species.

In June of 2017 a 15-foot great white shark was filmed in 3 feet of water. The Pearson brothers spotted the shark as it thrashed around and noticed it had injuries consistent with a propeller injury.

The two theorized the shark had been injured and was hunting stingrays in the shallows. Apparently, it had become stuck as the tide went out, but was spotted a few days later up the coast swimming in the shallows.

Photo via Adventure Sports Network

Back in 2012 a large great white, reportedly measured in at 20-feet-long, was caught by fisherman in the Gulf.

The large shark was said to have been found dead in the fishermen’s net and took the men an hour to tow to shore in their 22-foot-long 75-horsepower boat.

There have been a total of 102 shark attack bites (75 with injury, 24 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2018. Six fatal**; 33 were reported in the U.S (including one fatal), with 13 occurring in Florida and 3 in Hawaii. Twenty-seven have been reported in Australia, one fatal. Eight unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Tracking Map.

*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**Three possible scavenge

Australia Breakdown:
Western Australia: 9 (4 no injury), Fatal: 0,  Unconfirmed: 2.
Northern Territory: 1 (1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Queensland: 7 (3 provoked), Fatal: 1
New South Wales: 10 (2 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 1.
South Australia: 0, Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Victoria: 2 (1 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.

^Conflicting reports indicate the man may be 37-years-old.

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2 Thoughts to “Fatal shark attack reported in Mexico. Gulf of California”

  1. Pedro Romero

    The pin on this attack is wrong I should be inside Golf of Cortez 10 km from Saint Jorge Island

    1. Kevin McMurray

      Thanks for the correction! I can’t seem to find Saint Jorge Island on the map. Do you have coordinates?

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