Last month a 22-year old freediver got a big surprise while spearfishing off Santa Barbara: a close encounter with a great white shark.
Tyler McQuillen, a local college student, was in about 10 feet of water when the visit with the “landlord of the ocean” took place. He had a GoPro camera mounted on his speargun which captured his encounter in 1080p.
At first, he thought his friends were playing a joke on him by pulling on his fin, but then the great white shark had chomped down on his toes. Once he saw the shark, Tyler bumped it with the speargun, and the diversion was enough to allow him to make a getaway. McQuillen headed back to shore as quickly as he could, but didn’t get away completely unscathed – as the shark lunged at him, he was bit in the foot and suffered two broken toes.
Shark encounters that result in injuries such as this one are extremely rare. In 2015, there were 98 attacks recorded worldwide and six of them were fatal, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida.