December 05, 2013
By Sarah Kellner
You're out in your kayak swaying in the waves on the crystal blue Pacific. Baitfishing in Hawaii and soaking up the sun. Doesn't get much better than that right? One man probably thought so too until the day took a turn for the worst.
On Monday morning, Dec. 2, 2013, Patrick A. Briney, 57, of Stevenson, Wash. was using fishing from a kayak with a friend somewhere on the waters between Maui and the small island of Molokini, which is about two and a half miles south of Maui. Suddenly, Briney's friend heard an agonizing scream. Briney had been dangling his right foot in the water when a shark bit it.
According to authorities, his companion rushed over and tied a tourniquet to try to stop the bleeding but was unsuccessful.
(Sportsman tip: always apply tourniquet above the joint, closer to the body and only on limbs. For a complete guide on how to tie a tourniquet, check out the Art of Manliness.)
After flagging down a chartered snorkeling boat, the crew rushed the pair to shore, but Briney died before even reaching the hospital.
This shark attack was the thirteenth in Hawaii in 2013, which exceeds the 10 in 2012, and is almost tripled from previous years. The victims have been attacked while swimming, surfing, snorkeling and now, kayak fishing. According to CNN, Hawaii Land and Natural Resources Director William Aila Jr. stated,
"We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That's why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights."
According to the same article, between the years 2001 and 2012, 477 shark attacks were reported in the U.S. The majority (271) took place in Florida waters. Hawaii ranks second, with 52 attacks over the same period.
In an article on National Geographic, Yannis Papastamatiou, a marine biologist at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland reported his findings in a seven-year tagging and tracking study on the migration patterns of tiger sharks in Hawaii.
"We noted that there did seem to be a spike in shark bites during October, and that does overlap with the time of year when we now believe that there are pregnant female sharks coming down from the northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the main Hawaiian Islands, potentially to give birth," Papastematiou said.
Data from the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File (ISAF) shows that since 1926, the highest number of attacks around Hawaii took place in October, November, and December. Papastematiou stresses that this correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation.
It's a shame that the most beautiful beaches in the world also have the highest shark attack rates. Here are some of the world's deadliest.
Garden Island, Western Australia
Many great white shark attacks have occurred in Western Australia and many of them around Garden Island. Some even on "swim with the dolphins" snorkeling tours. 'There is no truth to the notion that there are no sharks where there are dolphins, ' says Ralph S. Collier
of the Shark Research Committee.
Image via Grahame Bowland
Hawaiian tiger sharks run rampant along this area of beach including Patrick Briney from December 2, 2013. Although a fairly low mortality rate, the encounters alone can be enough to keep you out of the water forever.
Image via Shaund
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Looks peaceful doesn't it? With 238 shark attacks to date, New Smyrna sees more shark attacks than any other beach on the PLANET
. Even with a high attack rate there has never, knock on wood, been a fatality. The bull sharks tend to nibble more than anything.
Image via Rae K. Hauck
18 fatal attacks that have occurred here have led to surfing being banned for a number of years along 37 miles of coastline. The building of a large harbor development in nearby Boca de Suape let to overdevelopment and overfishing that depleted the shark's natural food sources.
Image via Eduardo Marquetti
Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida
Since 59 percent of all U.S. shark attacks occur in Florida, two beaches are represented here. Ponce de Leon is a lagoon at the mouth of the Halifax and Indian rivers on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Surfers and spinner sharks dance at the mouth of the river. A record of 23 attacks happened there in 2008.
Image via Bidisha
Fletcher Cove, Solana Beach, California
With 142 unprovoked attacks since 1900, California ranks second for shark attack frequency in America. 'Mother Nature has implanted in the sharks that southern California is where they must give birth to ensure the highest rate of survival, ' says Ralph S. Collier
of the Shark Research Committee.
Image via Stickpen
New South Wales, Australia
This beach is rife with great white attacks. The problem may lie in the proximity of the continental shelf. 'Very deep water close to shore compresses the habitat of coastal sharks and allows pelagic species like the great white shark to come close to shore, ' says Marie Levine
of the Shark Research Institute.
Image via Urgh1962
For more crazy news headlines from around the country, be sure to check out Mudroom Report!