Why you don't need to worry about being a Texas shark attack victim

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It was like a show from the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.”

Something clamped down on his leg and blood quickly surrounded a 42-year-old man enjoying a trip to the beach with his family.

Since 1865 there had been 65 shark attacks in Texas waters, and on Aug. 9, 2018, this man became the sixty-sixth victim in 153 years.

Officials with the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office say the man was swimming near a sandbar around 10 a.m. when the attack happened. He walked out of the water and was later rushed to UTMB hospital located nearby.


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Derek York with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department said there are about 60 to 70 species of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico but in Texas, there are only a handful of species that are common to the area.


In regards to reports on human interaction, the most likely shark species are bull, blacktip, spinner, tiger, and hammerheads. Atlantic sharpnose sharks are also common to Texas but don’t get very large and are not likely to cause much damage if it comes in contact with a human.

“My wife sent me a picture of the bite,” York said. “there is no way to tell the species, but based on the size of the bite, it was probably a medium-sized shark about 3 to 5 feet in length.”

Several people have also caught good-sized sharks off the Texas coast this summer. In June — just months before the attack Thursday — a man caught a 6-foot bull shark off on Crystal Beach.

A woman in Freeport caught a 6-foot black tip in July, and in August a man caught a 12-foot tiger shark near Padre Island.

Jaime Pinter an angler and captain of a charter service in Galveston from over 25 years says he’s seen plenty of the bull and tiger sharks swimming within five miles of the beach.

Pinter believes that shrimp boat season in Texas waters could be helping bring in bigger sharks from offshore.

Both bull and tiger sharks are among the most aggressive types of shark in the world and are both known for having just about limitless diets, according to National Geographic.

However, despite the aggressive breed of sharks that inhabit the Gulf, statistics released by National Geographic say there is a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark.


On average about five people die from shark attacks each year. Despite the low death count, sharks are still greatly feared, and for every one person killed by a shark, at least two million sharks are killed by humans.

Daniela Sternitzky- Di Napoli is a digital producer covering Texas news and pop culture. | Daniela.DiNapoli@chron.com | @Dani_DiNapoli



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