Great White Shark Attack on Stuart Beach Florida: Are They Common
One shark expert thinks that a Great White Shark attack may have been responsible for the fatal shark attack off Stuart Beach in Florida that killed kiteboarder Stephen Schafer, but this shark attack was the first known fatal shark attack in the area since records began in 1882. Stuart Beach Florida map.
Grant Gilmore, a research scientist said that a few Great White Sharks may have been responsbile for the attack, but he did say it's too early to tell.
Gilmore also investigated the shark attack on 9-year-old James Willie Tellasmon in Vero Beach in 1998 and he said that the bite marks and patterns can be used to determine what type of shark bit Schafer. A Tiger Shark killed James Willie Tellasmon, and while Great White Sharks are not found in the warmer waters of Florida, the younger Great Whites have been known to migrate there.
Aside from young Great White Sharks, the other sharks that can be found in this area that have been known to go after humans include great hammerheads, bull sharks and tiger sharks.
When Stephen Schafer was rescued by a lifeguard he had been bit by a shark and there was blood in the water. He had an 8 to 10 inch bite on his right thigh and teeth marks in his buttocks.
How common are Great White Shark attacks?
Despite the image presented in the famous Jaws movies, they do not actively pursue humans to eat on a regular basis.
While great white sharks have killed a few humans, they typically do not target them: for example, in the Mediterranean Sea there have been 31 confirmed attacks against humans in the last two centuries, most non-fatal.
The Great Whites are known for 'test bites' where they will bite an object in an attempt to identify it.
They may think that a surfboard is a seal and they have been known to attack a surfer in water with low visibility.
It is recorded that they actually do not like the taste of humans as it is so unfamiliar to them. Humans are often too bony for them, which may be why if Stehpen Schafer died from a Great White attack the shark or sharks just bit him and didn't come back to finish the job.
Humans, in any case, are not appropriate prey because shark's digestion is too slow to cope with the human's high ratio of bone to muscle and fat. Accordingly, in most recorded attacks, great whites broke off contact after the first bite. Fatalities are usually caused by blood loss from the initial limb injury rather than from critical organ loss or from whole consumption.