There doesn’t seem to be a month go by when you don’t hear about a Surfer being attacked by a shark, but have you ever stopped to think about what you would do if it happened to you? It is not something I have given much though too, but Surfer Mike Coots, who was attacked by a shark in Kauai, Hawaii in 1997, has a surprisingly forgiving attitude towards the shark and maybe we could all learn a thing or two from him.
Mike was only 17 when a Tiger Shark bit off his lower right leg, while he was out surfing with his mates. The shocked teenager punched the shark in the head and started to paddle for shore, it was then he realised the severity of the shark’s bite.
Remarkably, Mike was back in the water within 5 weeks of his ordeal and even more remarkable is the fact that Mike has since become a campaigner against cruelty to the feared beasts.
Still a keen surfer to this day, Mike has forgiven the shark that attacked him and jokes that he isn’t worried about it happening again, as the chances would be “astronomical!” Instead he has become spokesman against the practice of shark finning, (where the Sharks fins are removed and the living shark is thrown back in the sea, where it will die a slow painful death).
Although the shark was only doing what would come naturally to it, I’m not sure I would be as relaxed as Mike about it, and I wonder if I could be so compassionate. His story really is quite something and below we have featured two videos, the first is Mike talking about the attack and the second, shows him surfing now with his prosthetic leg. The second clip is a little jumpy, but well worth a watch, for the pure joy that Mike has on his face, still doing the sport he so obviously loves.
Do you think you would be able to go back in the water following a shark attack?