A spearfisherman has filmed the moment he was attacked by a shark in the Florida Keys.
Parker Simpson was fishing with a buddy June 4 at Middle Samo Reef off Boca Chica and was filming the trip with a head mounted camera.
The 23-year-old, who was holding a freshly caught black grouper, was floating on the surface with his friend Justyn as they pondered their next move.
Suddenly a 7- to 8-foot reef shark showed up behind the two. “He first went at my dive buddy Justyn but immediately turned toward me,” the videographer said.
The shark turned his attention to Simpson who was holding the grouper. “He [the shark] first bit my left fin then took a chunk out of the right one before biting my leg and cutting the speargun line.”
The videographer dropped his gun and the grouper which swam back to the oceans bottom.
“I assumed he was trying to steal the black grouper I was holding. But after I lost the grouper and watched it swim to the bottom, the shark kept coming at us,” he said. Adding “Justyn went back down for my gun and actually shoved it in the shark’s mouth like a badass!!!! The shark then took it straight to the bottom while we rushed back to the boat and safety,” the Key West local posted.
Once back on the boat Amanda, another member of the dive team who is trained in first aid, temporarily patched up the wound on his left leg.
“The shark tore through the skin, fat tissue, muscle, muscle sheath, and unfortunately my tibial artery which caused me to lose more than a liter of blood,” Simpson said.
The avid spearfisher and realtor at Buy the Keys, who is proud to say his Koah speargun was recovered, offered a serious suggestion to other fisherman and divers.
“Always dive with a buddy and someone who is trained in first aid! I would not have made it back to the boat without the help of another strong swimmer and would have bled out had I not been patched up so well by Amanda,” he posted
Simpson needed 56 stitches to sew up the wound and plans to “get back in the water as soon as the doctors allow me.”
When asked if his notoriety might bag him a new Koah speargun he said it’s “My favorite gun of all time! I wont ever need a new one but would certainly take whatever they want to give me.”
While a new gun would be nice, right now his focus is on healing up and paying for his medical bills.
“As our local hospital is far more expensive than most, I must turn toward crowdfunding. At this point I’ll be swimming in debt rather than with the fishies,” he posted on his GoFundMe page.
In January of this year another video was shared by a sperfisherman who was attacked by a bull shark. Tim Van Beelen was spearing off the coast of Western Australia when the shark came from the depths and charged Van Beelen. The shark had its mouth open and ended up ramming the spear into its body.
There have been a total of 49* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 22 were reported in the US, with 16 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury. Three unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count
All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Two may be scavenge **One report may have been outside of Florida waters..