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US Shark Attacks 2012

Updated on January 14, 2013

2012 shark attack numbers by State

Sharks Attacks
North Carolina
South Carolina

This is a complete list of all unprovoked shark attacks across the US in the year 2012.

The waters off the US encompass both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, and the warmer parts of both oceans are teeming with all sorts of fish.

Among them are not only sharks, but some of the most dangerous sharks on the planet, including the great white, tiger and bull sharks, who between them are responsible for nearly all fatal shark attacks.

With big powerful jaws and shark teeth, these sharks can inflict dreadful damage on a human being.

It has often been said that sharks do not like the taste of humans, because we are too boney for them and lack the juicy tasty blubber offered by seals and sealions, and this may well be true.

Often great white or tiger sharks take one bite and back off, giving the victim time to scramble out of the water.

Bull sharks have often been described as being the pitbulls of the sea, because they tend to viciously attack again and again, even when it should be obvious to them that we are not in fact shark-meat.

For this reason, there are more fatalities per attack from a bull shark, although the king of the oceanic predators remains the great whites who historically have attacked more people, causing more deaths and severe injuries, than the bull and tiger shark together.

While shark attacks globally appear to be on the increase, we must remember that the world's population has risen on the same scale, and we have more leisure time to spend on watersports and bathing than ever before.

Here is a chart of the reported shark attacks in the US in recent years.

US shark attacks

Reported shark attacks
Fatal shark attacks

December 2012 US shark attacks

On the 5th December, a man named only as "Lorrin" was attacked by a 10' shark while surfing off Kauai, Hawaii. he suffered lacerations to his left foot.


December 31st saw the last world-wide shark attack of the year happen off Jensen Beach, Martin County, Florida. A male swimmer suffered shark bites to his lower limbs.


show route and directions
A markerKekaha, Kaua'i, Hawaii -
Kekaha, HI, USA
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surfer attacked

B markerMakena Landing, Maui, Hawaii -
Makena Landing Beach Park, Wailea-Makena, HI 96753, USA
get directions

Mark Riglos

C markerMelbourne Beach, Brevard County, Florida -
Melbourne Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Kai Rittgers

D markerKihei, Maui, Hawaii -
Kihei, HI, USA
get directions

Thomas Floyd Kennedy

November US shark attacks

A 43 year old man had a lucky escape when his surfboard was attacked by an 8' tiger shark off Davidson's Surf Break, Kekaha, Kaua'i, Hawaii, on the 4th of November, 2012.


Also on the 4th of November, 30 year old Mark Riglos suffered a bit to his leg when he was attacked by a 15' tiger shark while diving off Makena Landing, Maui, Hawaii.


On the 19th of November, 14 year old Kai Rittgers was nipped on the left foot by a 2' - 3' shark while surfing off Melbourne Beach, Brevard County, Florida.


On November 30, 61 year old Thomas Floyd Kennedy was bitten on the thigh by a 10' tiger shark while snorkeling off Kihei, Maui, Hawaii.

show route and directions
A markerDavenport Landing -
Davenport Landing, Davenport, CA 95017, USA
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Gunner Proppe

B markerHobe Sound -
Hobe Sound, FL, USA
get directions

site of shark attack on unnamed man

C markerKanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii -
Kanaha Beach, Hawaii 96732, USA
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David Peterson

D markerVolusia County -
Volusia, FL, USA
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shark bite

E markerSurf Beach, Lompoc, Santa Barbara -
Surf Beach, Vandenberg AFB, CA 93437, USA
get directions

Francisco Javier Solorio Jr

F markerMakena Landing, Maui, Hawaii -
Makena Landing Beach Park, Wailea-Makena, HI 96753, USA
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Mariko Haugen

G markerHumboldt Bay, Eureka, Humboldt County -
Humboldt Bay, California, USA
get directions

Scott Stephens

October shark attacks in the USA

The first US shark attack in October happened on the 10th of October.

A shark broke the mast of the windsurfing board of 42 year old Gunner Proppe off Davenport Landing, Santa Cruz County, California.


On the 16th of October, a man suffered lacerations to his toe in Hobe Sound, Florida. Shark involvement is not confirmed at this stage.


On the 18th of October, 55 year old surfer David Peterson had his board bitten by a 6' - 8' shark off Kanaha Beach, Maui, Hawaii.


On the same day, 18th October, a 24 year old man suffered a minor bite to is ankle while swimming off Volusia County, Florida.


*FATAL* On the 23rd of October, 39 year old Francisco Javier Solorio Jr was fatally wounded by a shark while surfing off Surf Beach, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California.


On the 27th of October, 51 year old Mariko Haugen suffered bite injuries to her thigh and hand when she was attacked by a 10' - 12' tiger shark while swimming off Makena Landing, Maui, Hawaii.


On 30th of October, 25 year old Scott Stephens was mauled by a great white shark while surfing off Humboldt Bay, Eureka, Humboldt County, California. He suffered multiple wounds to his torso.


show route and directions
A markerNew Smyrna Beach, Volusia County -
New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA
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B markerMelbourne Beach, Brevard County -
Melbourne Beach, FL, USA
get directions

C markerSt. Augustine Beach, St. John's County -
St Augustine Beach, FL 32080, USA
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D markerNeptune Beach, Duval County -
Neptune Beach, FL, USA
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E markerSouth Beach, Miami-Dade County -
Miami Beach, FL, USA
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F markerCocoa Beach, Brevard County -
Cocoa Beach, FL, USA
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Spate of Florida shark attacks

New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County

A 56 year old woman and an 8 year girl were both attacked by what is described as a 3.5' - 4' shark. The incidents took place 2 hours apart on the 2nd of September, 2012.

The woman suffered puncture wound to her left ankle, while the little girl suffered puncture wounds to her hand and calf.

Melbourne Beach, Brevard County

On the 4th of September, a 32 year year male surfer suffered puncture wounds to his hand.

St. Augustine Beach, St. John's County

On the 6th of September, 37 year old Andrew Birchall was surfing when a shark bit him and caused lacerations to his foot.

Neptune Beach, Duval County

Again on the 6th of September, James Fyfe, a surfer in his 30s, suffered a shark bite to his right calf.

South Beach, Miami-Dade County

On the 8th of September, an unnamed man suffered deep lacerations to his right calf when he was bitten while swimming.

The crystal clear waters were teeming with bait-fish at the time, and he did not see the perpetrator, which attacked from behind. Either a small shark or a barracuda is suspected.

Cocoa Beach, Brevard County

Also on the 8th of September, surfer Matthew Fowler suffered a bite to his foot.

8 days later, on the 16th of September, a 52 year old was also bitten on the foot at the same beach.


On the 24th of September, again in Florida, 22 year old Brandon Murray suffered a foot bite by a 4' shark while surfing off Spanish House, Beach, Brevard County.


The very next day, on the 25th of September, 21 year old Brandon Taylor was attacked by a 5' shark and suffered bites to his left forearm while surfing off Mebourne Beach, Brevard County.


Unnamed German Tourist

On the 15th of August, 2012, a 31 year old man from Germany suffered lacerations to his leg when he was bitten by a shark while wading off Gulf Shores, Alabama.

David Lowe, Snr

On the 8th of August, 2012, 56 year old David Lowe Snr was free-diving off Key Largo, Florida, when he was bitten on the little finger of his left hand by a 4' - 5' lemon shark.

Jared Tennison

17 year old Jared Tennison had a lucky escape from injury when he was knocked off his surfboard by a shark, off Topanga Beach, Los Angeles County, California, on the 31st of July, 2012.

Steve Stotts

On the 30th of July, 2012, 44 year old Steve Stotts suffered a bite to his left foot while surfing at Maha‘ulepu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii.

Chris Myers, Cape Cod shark attack news report

Chris Myers

On the 30th of July, 2012, Chris Myers was body boarding at Ballston Beach, Cape Cod, when he was attacked by a shark.

Witnesses said the man was just 100 feet offshore when the shark's dorsal fin appeared above the water, and went straight for him.

He managed to fight the shark off, but has been left with severe lacerations to both of his lower legs. He is in Massachusetts General Hospital where he is expected to make a full recovery.

Although the Cape Cod shark has not yet been identified, there has been an increase in great white sharks in the area recently, as well as an increase in seals.

shark steal catch video July 2012

Read the story of the fish that got away! Well it didn't, a shark stole it.

Tracey Fasick

43 year old Tracey Fasick suffered lacerations to her right calf and thigh when she was bitten by a shark while swimming off North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, North Carolina, on the 8th of July, 2012.

The type of shark involved has not been identified.

52 year old man

A 52 year old Fremont man had a lucky escape when an 18' great white shark took a bite out of his kayak as he was fishing a quarter mile from shore at Pleasure Point in Monterey Bay near Santa Cruz, California, USA.

The frightening incident happened at 7am on the 7th of July, 2012.

The man was thrown into the water with the shark by the force of the collision, where he was quickly rescued by people on a nearby boat.

This is the first reported shark attack in the area, a popular surfing spot, for several decades.

Nickolaus Bieber

Jupiter, Florida, 26th of June, 2012.

6 year old Nickolaus Bieber suffered a severe shark bite while wading in water only as deep as his waist just north of Juno Park beach, Marcinski Park area.

The shark, believed to be a bull shark, took a chunk out of the boy's upper thigh.

He is recovering in St. Mary's Medical Center.

26 year old man

On the 26th of June, at New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida, a 26 year old man suffered minor injuries to his left foot, when he was bitten by a shark while surfing.

Sage St. Clair

On the 26th of June, 16 year old Sage St. Clair needed stitches inserted on a wound to her left thigh after she was attacked by a small reef shark while she was sitting in the water at Kahana Beach, Maui, Hawaii.

Jordon Garosalo + 3 others

On the 14th of June, 16 year old Jordon Garosalo had his foot bitten by an unseen shark at Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina.

On the same day, and in the same area, a further 3 people were bitten and suffered minor injuries by what officials believe to be blacktip sharks.

It is very unusual for blacktip sharks to attack people in unprovoked incidents, and experts believe that people had just been unlucky enough to be caught up in a shoal of these sharks during their migratory period, and that they may have been in a feeding frenzy at the time.

Blacktips are excitable fish and when they enter a feeding frenzy, they will snap and nip at anything that moves.

Angelina DelRosso

On the 2nd of June, 13 year old Angelina DelRosso needed 21 stitches in her leg after she was bitten by a shark while surfing at Bethune Beach, just south of New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida.

The shark made its surprise attack as Angelina had just caught a wave to ride to the beach while with a group of friends.

No-one saw the shark.

Megan Konkler's bandaged foot after shark attack
Megan Konkler's bandaged foot after shark attack | Source

Megan Konkler

33 year old Megan Konkler was on vacation at Avon, near Nags Head Beach, North Carolina, when she was bitten by a 2 foot shark.

On the 31st of May at around 1.30pm, Ms Konkler was on the beach at the Hatteras Island village of Avon, playing with her young children, when she decided to enter the water to wash off the sand.

She was in waist-deep waters when she felt a sharp sting to her right foot.

Thinking she had stepped on a crab, she moved off quickly, only to accidentally stand on the shark which immediately bit her a second time, this time refusing to let go until others intervened.

In what has been confirmed to be a shark bite, Ms Konkler received 32 stitches to her wound at nearby Avon Health Centre.

Chad Renfro

22 year old Chard Renfro was surfing off south Jacksonville Beach, Florida, when he was bitten by a shark, on May 23rd, 2012.

He was paddling to catch a wave when he felt a shark pain on his left foot, and looked down to see a dark shape in the water.

Believed to be a 4 or 5 foot lemon or bull shark, it took a chunk out of his foot and ankle, severing a nerve and a tendon and even removing some bone.

He made it to the shore where he managed to catch the attention of lifeguards.

Later in hospital, his wounds required 85 stitches, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

show route and directions
A markerJacksonville Beach, Florida -
Jacksonville Beach, FL, USA
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Chad Renfro

B markerNag's Head Beach, North Carolina -
North Carolina, USA
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Megan Konkler

C markerNew Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida -
New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA
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1. Angelino DelRosso 2. Unnamed 26 year old male 3. Unnamed 56 year old woman 4. 8 year old girl

D markerMyrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina -
Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
get directions

Jordan Garosalo and 3 others

E markerKahana Beach, Maui, Hawaii -
Kahana Beach, Napili-Honokowai, HI 96761, USA
get directions

Sage St.Clair

F markerJupiter, Florida -
Jupiter, FL, USA
get directions

Nickolaus Bieber

G markerMonterey Bay, Calif -
Monterey Bay, United States
get directions

52 year old kayaker

H markerNorth Topsail Beach, Onslow County, North Carolina -
North Topsail Beach, NC, USA
get directions

Tracey Fasick

I markerBallston Beach, Cape Cod -
Ballston Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore, S Pamet Rd, Wellfleet, MA 02667, USA
get directions

Chris Myers

J markerMaha‘ulepu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii -
Kauai, HI, USA
get directions

Maha‘ulepu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii

Chad Renfro and his shark bite injury
Chad Renfro and his shark bite injury | Source

Karin Ulrike Stei

On May 9th, 2012, Karin Ulrike Stei, 47, a German tourist on vacation was bitten by what could be either a bull or a tiger shark while swimming 30 yards offshore from Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida.

She received a severe bite in her upper left thigh, causing a 12" laceration that went as deep as her bone.

Karin was with her friend, Brigitte Schmid in waist-deep water when the horrific incident occurred.

Eric Toomsoo, the lifeguard on duty at the time, showing a complete disregard for his own life, immediately entering the water on hearing the cry of "shark", and dragging the woman to safety, despite the waters around her being saturated with her blood.

If there are any medals going, this man deserves it fr such a completely selfless act which may well have saved the life of Ms Stei.

She was flown to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce where she underwent emergency surgery.

German woman attacked by shark Vero Beach, Florida
German woman attacked by shark Vero Beach, Florida | Source

15 year old girl

A 15 year old girl had an incredibly lucky escape when her paddleboard was attacked by a juvenile great white shark on the 6th of May, 2012.

The girl was with a group of early morning paddle boarders about 200 yards off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, L.A. County, California, when the encounter took place.

Early reports said that the shark made repeated attacks on the board, but LA Fire officials later confirmed that the board suffered from damage from a single 'test bite'.

Juvenile great white sharks, at the period in their lives where they graduate from being solely fish eaters to eating mammals, often take test bites to see if an object is edible, and in this case, the shark obviously decided it was not, and swam off.

shark bite damage to hand of  surfer Justin Ellingham
shark bite damage to hand of surfer Justin Ellingham | Source

Justin Ellingham

MELBOURNE BEACH, BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA - On the 19th of April, 2012, ocean engineering student Justin Ellingham, 28, was paddling out on his surfboard about 50 feet from the shore in his hometown of Indialantic, when he felt something grab his left hand which was trailing in the water.

He then witnessed a 5 foot shark swimming away.

On reaching the shore, he realised the severity of his injury as both his ring finger and pinkie were severely lacerated, requiring reconstructive surgery.

A friend attempted to drive him to Holmes Regional Medical Center in Indialantic, but had to pull over and call emergency services when Mr Ellingham's condition worsened.

Champion surfer Justin has since made a full recovery although he requires further reconstructive surgery to his hand, and an appeal fund has been set up in his name as he has no medical insurance to pay for it.

Frank A Wacha Jnr with his bandaged left arm after being bitten by a shark
Frank A Wacha Jnr with his bandaged left arm after being bitten by a shark | Source

Frank A Wacha Jnr

JENSEN BEACH, MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA - On the 15th of March, 2012, 61 year old Frank A Wach Jnr was surfing about 150 yards offshore when he felt a tug on his left arm, and looked to see a 5 - 6ft bull shark hanging off his arm.

As his arm was out of the water at the time, he felt that the shark must have leapt out of the water to attach its teeth to his arm.

The shark fell off, leaving deep puncture wounds to his forearm, elbow and upper arm.

He then managed to get himself ashore on his 9ft long surfboard (pictured right).

Lifeguards on the shore stemmed the bleeding, and no major arteries were severed.

He was taken to hospital where he was treated and released the same day.

As a surfing veteran with 50 years experience of riding the waves, no doubt Frank is back out there, despite his frightening experience.

Nick Romano and Sidney Levy
Nick Romano and Sidney Levy | Source

Nick Romano and Sidney Levy

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, VOLUSIA COUNTY, FLORIDA - On the 14th of March, 2012, two teenagers were attacked by sharks, or it could have been the same shark.

First to get bitten was 17 year old Nick Romano.

He had just caught a wave on his surfboard, when a shark spun up out of the water and bit his leg. As soon as Nick felt the bite, he looked down in disbelief to see the shark, and knocked it away with his hand before making to the safety of the shore.

First-aiders on the beach stemmed the blood flow and Nick was able to drive himself to nearby Bert Fish Medical Centre, where 17 stitches were inserted.

15 year old Sidney Levy was surfing with her mother Valeh, when a shark bit her ankle and pulled her underwater.

She was on her board examining her injuries when the shark returned and tried to pull her under again by biting on the rope that attached her board to her ankle.

Her mother pulled her to safety, and they quickly made their way to the beach, where first-aiders were attending to Nick Romano who had been bitten just minutes before.

Sidney was taken to hospital by ambulance and later released after treatment.

Incredibly, despite orders to leave the water by life-guards, many people were reluctant to do so, as the surfing conditions had been perfect, despite the double shark attack that had just taken place.

Justin Worrall

PLAYALINDA BEACH, BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA - On March 4th, 2012, suffered a bite on the leg while kite-surfing.

He described the bite as feeling firstly like a punch, and then the pain hit him.

Luckily he was able to quickly kite-surf to the shore, where his brothers were able to help him get to hospital.

Despite all the puncture wounds and bleeding profusely, Justin only required three stitches put in for the deeper ones.

The shark type was not identified, but it was described as being 4 ft long.

Justin Worral's shark bite wound to leg
Justin Worral's shark bite wound to leg | Source

Map of US shark attacks 2012

show route and directions
A markerPlayalinda Beach -
Playalinda Beach, Florida, USA
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Justin Worrall, March 4, 2012

B markerNew Smyrna Beach -
New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Nick Romano and Sidney Levy, March 14, 2012

C markerJensen Beach -
Jensen Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Frank A Wacha Jnr, March 15, 2012

D markerMelbourne Beach, FL -
Melbourne Beach, FL, USA
get directions

Justin Ellingham, April 19, 2012

E markerSanta Catalina Island -
Santa Catalina Island, California 90704, USA
get directions

6th of May. 15 year old girl - shark encounter

F markerVero Beach, Florida -
Vero Beach, FL, USA
get directions

9th of May, 2012 - Karin Ulrike Stei


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    • profile image

      Alun 5 years ago

      An interesting compilation of shark attacks statistics - useful for reference purposes.

    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      Glad you like it - it took a year to write! My real name is Shark ....Facts. LOL, just kidding. Isabel Melville. I have another account here under my own name so it's not as if my name is private.

    • profile image

      Hello! 5 years ago

      Is there any chance that you could give me your first and last name? I am trying to cite this article in my research paper and I need your name as the author! That would be wonderful, because this article rocks!

      Thanks for your time!!

    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      I would love that photo! Send it to - thanks a lot! I'd also be really interested in hearing what the Miami Sea Aquarium people have to say when they see your wound. Sorry to hear you lost an artery, sounds awful!

    • profile image

      Albijde 5 years ago

      Hi again. Sorry I'm pretty busy to recover. Yes unfortunately I've lost one artery. I can send you a picture of the leg if you want to add it to the story. I have to go to the Miami Sea Aquarium to see if somebody can indicate size and type of shark. Pretty scary but I'm improving well. I wish the same to all the people on this web.

    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      OMG I had no idea your daughter was with you. What I read said she was on the beach (although of course she could have been at that point), but was with you earlier? But you are right - it could have been so much worse...

      I had no idea either that you saw the shark - that doesn't seem to have been reported, and yes it is pretty common for authorities to blame anything other than a shark when attacks like this happen.

      Tourism is enormously important to local economies, so sometimes shark attacks get hushed up, sadly enough.

      I also read you lost of LOT of blood. Did an artery get nicked? Did a shark specialist look at the teeth marks, as they can usually identify the type of shark involved. If you haven't seen one, take photos for later ID perhaps. The type of shark is always important, both for research and in case it bites someone else in future. I am glad to hear you are recovering. What a horrible thing to happen!

    • profile image

      albijde 5 years ago

      I did not release my name. I'm 43yrs old and I was swimming with my daughter. Can you only imagine if the shark got her? Thanks God shark got me. Doctors said that bite is pretty consistent with shark bites he saw in the past. I believe that they did not want to scare tourists in Miami Beach saying right away it was a shark. But I can count the teeth on my leg, that for sure. It was 100% a shark. I saw the body gray and white going down to my leg. I've been lucky. It could have been worst.

    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      Sorry I couldn't find your name in the shark attack files. If you care to add it here, I can update the stuff above. Did they ever find out what bit you?

    • profile image

      albijde 5 years ago

      thanks. I hope for the best to everybody on this page.

    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      And that is a gentle reminder to me to update more often :) LOL, I'll get you added shortly, and wish you a speedy recovery :)

    • profile image

      ALbijde 5 years ago

      I'm missing from this list. I was attack on 9/8/12 in south beach.

      I was standing in waist-deep water.

    • profile image

      MYRTLE BEACH 5 years ago


    • sharkfacts profile image

      sharkfacts 5 years ago from UK

      I'm not sure I agree with you. It is natural to want to bathe in the sea or take part in watersports. But when those waters contain dangerous sharks it becomes complicated. Me, personally, would stick to swimming pools because I can think of nothing worse than being stalked by a man-eating shark - or any shark come to that - but when you think of the millions who use our coastal waters year in, year out, with no problems, we can get the whole issue of the risk of shark attack into proportion. It is rare, despite the publicity shark attacks receive. If it was a common event, it wouldn't be news.

    • profile image

      Hayabusa 5 years ago

      This people don't ever listen or take from other people mistake in life,they still go in to the sea and get the same results from other people mistakes. I have no petty for them cos it's obvi Liz they don't learn nor listen