This New Years Day, a group friends were diving and spearfishing about 70 miles off the coast of Pensacola, Florida. You’d figure there’s few ways better to celebrate a fresh calendar, but things got off to a rocky, and almost deadly, start for one of them.
The group had been spearfishing the same area for a little while and hadn’t shot a fish in a few drifts, so they decided to get back to the boat and try out a new spot.
Unfortunately, while sitting on the surface, waiting for the boat to turn around and get to him, one of the divers was attacked from below by a big mako shark.
He gave some details in the video description.
“I was spearfishing with some buddies, Josh Loucks and Nathan Lancaster, about 70 miles off shore of Pensacola. We hadn’t shot a fish in a few drifts and it was starting to calm down. Josh had been picked up by the boat, I was waiting to be picked up.
The boat had swung wide and was making its way to me when I got attacked by a good sized female mako.
It hit me from behind at a good angle from my right rear. I would’ve never seen her coming even if I was looking down.
When she hit me I did a flip, she knocked the speargun out of my hands, and partially flooded my mask.”
Literally worst case scenario…
Fortunately, the mako passed by without causing harm, but if she had decided to grab ahold of his leg, it could easily have been lights out for good.
He discussed his thought process during the terrifying situation to WKRG:
“The first scream you can kinda hear the terror of I don’t know what’s going on exactly.
The first thing that went through my mind is I don’t have a leg. I felt a lot of pressure on my right leg from where I think her peck fin hit my leg.”
He was out with his buddies Josh Loucks and Nathan Lancaster, who were on the boat about 30 feet away.
Loucks weighed in on what it was like witnessing the event:
“It was intense.
As we pulled up to him, there was an extremely large swirl under Chad. You could see he got moved by something. We pretty much instantly knew what was going on.”
Josh immediately jumped in to check on his buddy:
“There was a huge sense of relief once we were all back in the boat with our arms and our legs.”
Lancaster also said:
“It hits a little different, quite literally, pun intended, it hits a little different when you are seen as food instead of just curiosity like 99% of the sharks we deal with out here.”
However, as scary as the situation was, Patti admitted that it won’t keep him out of the water:
“No, actually I was out diving today. I just got out of the water.”
Since the incident, they’ve made sure to dive closer together than they have in the past.
At the end of the day, it’s great to know that nobody was harmed in what could’ve been a life changing situation.
Stay safe out there, folks.