A Norwegian tourist was bitten by a bull shark in Bangkok, Thailand April 15.
Werner Danielsen was swimming at Sai Noi Beach off Khao Tao Village, Hua Hin when a shark grabbed his left foot.
“I was about 100 yards from the land when it was raining. It took three bites and then disappeared,” Danielsen told NTB, a Norwegian news agency*.
The Norwegian began swimming back to shore. “It was a long way to land, so it was a tough experience. I was terrified, afraid that the sharks in the area should go after the blood and attack again,” he said.
The 54-year-old man was able to make it back to shore and was assisted out of the water by friends and beachgoers.
Four men carried Danielson to the beach entrance and tightened a towel into a makeshift tourniquet to stem bleeding. Locals arranged transportation to the hospital via a pickup truck. Several of the Good Samaritans carried Danielson to the waiting truck.
He received 19 stitches at the local hospital.
“I have three different bitemarks. Fortunately, all the bites were above the heel, so it was impossible to bite over the heel,” he said.
If translations of his account are correct, it appears he may have several broken bones in his foot from the top of the big toe back to the heel.
“I have no feelings in three of my toes, but I’m optimistic,” he said.
Danielson, whose wife is Thai, said he is not afraid to return to the same beach after he heals.
“I have been to Hua Hin and the bath room [see translation] for many years, and there has never been any problem. I’m going to think about sharks the next time I bathe, but I do not think I’m afraid.”
Reaction to his bite has been unusual.
Tracking Sharks became aware of the incident April 16, at which time officials said Danielson had been injured on sea rocks. A video showing a bleeding Danielson being carried from the water posted to social media was quickly deleted.
Officials have now confirmed he was bitten by a shark and have taken anti-shark measures.
Both municipal and provincial budgets have been tapped to install a 350-meter net at Sai Noi Beach. The net is expected to be installed with in 20 days.
Warning signs have also been placed advising swimmers not to swim farther than 20 meters from shore.
Boats will be stationed along the beaches to ensure rapid response to any possible shark attack.
While the reaction has been swift, the use of a shark net could be considered a bad decision. Nets will often catch nontargeted species such as turtles, dolphins and other harmless sea creatures.
The odds of being bitten by a shark are extremely slim. One contributing factor in Mr. Danielsen’s bite was the distance from shore at which he was swimming.
There have been a total of 19 shark attack bites* in 2018, 0 of which were fatal**; 1 was reported in the US, with 0 occurring in Florida and 1 in Hawaii. Nine have been reported in Australia, none of which was fatal. Two unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.
All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.
*Four with no injury
**One possible scavenge
*Translation from Norwegian