Broward News

As Annual Migration Continues, Here's How to Fight a Shark -- and Win

​It's like the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week" all over again as ongoing news coverage of migrating sharks continues across South Florida. 

With hundreds of blacktip and spinner sharks swimming close to shore -- most with 100 yards -- it's no wonder beachgoers are beginning to feel weary of the water.

Thanks to all the media attention surrounding this shark migration, we've compiled a few first-hand accounts of people from around the globe who have fought off a shark -- and won. 


An Australian grandmother, 61-year-old Paddy Trumbull, said all she was thinking about was "surviving" after fighting off a shark that attacked her last February while swimming on the Great Barrier Reef. Her preferred method of attack: punching it in the nose, one of the best ways to fend off an aggressive shark.

Lee Fontan, now 34, of Bolinas, California, survived a Great White shark attack in 2002 after he went in on a few rounds with his attacker. Fontan, who was surfing at the time of the attack, was pulled from his board about 300 yards offshore, receiving bites on his left leg, upper back, chest, neck, and arm. Witnesses said they saw Fontan repeatedly punching the shark in self defense. It's an important factor when fending off an aggressive attack: Don't stop hitting!

Professional surfer Todd Endris, 28, also fought against the shark that attacked him off the coast of Monterey, California in 2007. His tactic: punch the shark in the mouth, eyes and gills -- all three the most sensitive areas on a shark.

An honorable mention also goes to 20-year-old Elyse Frankcom, who was attacked while hosting a guided dolphin snorkeling tour in Australia. Although she didn't do the fighting herself, she was saved by a man who attacked the shark that attacked her. The unidentified man pulled Great White's tail after it bit Frankcom in the hip, proving once and for all that if you are aggressive back, the shark probably won't want you for dinner anymore. 

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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna