‘Great White Shark’ Victim’s Family Give Statement After Bitten Board Found

‘Great White Shark’ Victim’s Family Give Statement After Bitten Board Found

The family of a surfer believed to have been killed by a great white shark have issued a statement, two days after the tragedy took place.

On October 31 at 10:20 a.m. local time, Tod Gendle, 55, was attacked while surfing at Granites Beach, near Streaky Bay in South Australia, west of Adelaide. The search for his body is continuing.

“We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to the police and volunteers for their dedicated efforts in the recent days,” Gendle’s family said in the statement. “We extend our appreciation to his friends and the local community of Streaky Bay who had the chance to know Tod. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who were with Tod on that day.”

Witnesses told 7News that Gendle was one of about a dozen surfers in the water at the time of the attack.

“(The shark) grabbed him, pulled him back down, brought him back up, pulled him back down again,” one witness said.

Local surfer Jeff Schmucker was there at the time of the attack and jumped on his jet ski to try to rescue Gendle. However, by the time he got there all he found was a surf board with a bite taken out of it and a roughly 14-foot great white shark circling in the water.

Great white sharks are one of the largest species of shark in the world, growing up to 20 feet long and weighing up to 4,500 pounds, according to National Geographic. Their streamlined bodies and powerful tail fins allow them to bolt through the water at speeds approaching 35 miles per hour, delivering a bite force of up to 1.8 metric tons.

Great whites have been implicated in more fatal attacks on humans than any other shark species, primarily due to their size and power. However, such attacks are still rare, with only 59 fatal unprovoked attacks reported since 1580, according to the Florida Museum Shark File.

According to 7News, the attack is the second fatal shark incident in South Australia in the past six months, coming less than a month after a woman survived an attack at Beach Port, east of Adelaide. The state’s premier, Peter Malinauskas, described the incident as an “awful tragedy.”

“Our thoughts are with the family of the victim of the shark attack,” he said. “On all accounts it was a brutal one that clearly has dire consequences.”

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This article by Pandora Dewan was first published by Newsweek on 2 November 2023. Lead Image: A great white shark. It’s implicated in more fatal shark attacks on humans than any other species. ELIZABETHHOFFMANN/GETTY.

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