Great white shark attack captured on underwater GoPro

A large shark took a chomp at a diver's foot, and the frightening incident was all caught on video.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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great white shark

A great white caught on GoPro.

Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Refugio State Beach near Santa Barbara, California, offers palm-tree-studded Pacific Ocean beach views and recreational fishing opportunities. Tyler McQuillen, a spearfisher, headed into the water there and lived through a scary, real-life version of "Jaws."

A GoPro mounted on McQuillen's speargun filmed the dramatic moments when a confused great white shark mistook him for a meal. Fortunately, he survived.

The video, originally posted by YouTube user account Jamie Hugg on Monday, shows the shark attack occurring at the very beginning of the footage. Work warning: there's a quick curse word at the very end.

"Extremely lucky to get out of this one alive," reads the video description. A not-safe-for-sensitive-people image (since removed) shows the aftermath of the shark bite and McQuillen's two broken toes. He was treated at a hospital.

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The attack took place on September 1. According to the Ventura County Star, authorities shut down water access at Refugio for 24 hours after the incident.

The Shark Research Committee, a nonprofit research organization, spoke with McQuillen, who reported "I felt a very strong pressure on my right foot and...jerked backwards with such force that I dropped my speargun with GoPro camera attached." He retrieved the speargun and stuck the shark with it when it circled back.

The Shark Research Committee estimated the shark to be up to 10 feet (3 meters) in length. McQuillen believes it was about 12 feet (3.6 meters) long. Either way, that's a big shark.

Despite the frightening pop culture perception of deadly sharks seen through the Hollywood lens of films like "Jaws" and "Sharknado," attacks against humans are rare. According to ocean advocacy group Oceana, there are around 36 shark attacks at US beaches each year. Still, McQuillen was lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries.

(Via Reddit)

First published September 12, 12:56 p.m. PT.
Update, 4:21 p.m.: The video has been taken down.
Update, September 13 at 6:20 a.m. PT: The video was re-uploaded through Storyful News.