Last Thursday, on the remote Matagorda Island in Texas, Nicholas Vossler (a 12 year old boy) was attacked by what is believed to be a bull shark (bull sharks are common off of Matagorda Island). The shark attack occurred in 3 and ½ feet of water, and the boy’s father Cecil Vossler had to fight off the shark to help save his son. The bull shark did serious damage to the boys foot, and the bull shark had to be forced off of the boy’s foot and leg. Due to the remote terrain of Matagorda Island, the boy was taken by boat to Port O’ Connor, where he was then flown by CareFlight to the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
Shark attacks in Texas are not common (there was a recent shark attack at Surfside Beach). If you are worried about sharks attacks in Texas, you can check out our article about the likelihood of you encountering a shark on the Texas Coast. One word of wisdom from Lance Robinson, who is the director of coastal fisheries for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department about when you may want to think about heading out in the Texas surf: “….early morning and late afternoon are times when most shark attacks occur”.
With 36 shark attacks in the last 100 years in Texas (2 fatal), it is safe to say that your chances of encountering a shark while at a Texas beach is slim to none. If you are still feeling unsafe in Texas and worried about shark attacks, consider that Florida has had 170 shark attacks in the last 10 years. It appears sharks aren’t “messing “with Texas as much as they are messing with Florida. To view more on the Matagorda shark attack you can view it here.
Update: Nicholas came very close to losing his foot in his encounter with the bull shark but thanks to quick actions of his friends and family, the attention of the CareFlight Crew that choppered him to Houston and the top notch medical care at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston it looks like this is one he will be able to walk away from. To follow Nicholas Vossler’s progress and recovery or donate a little money to help his family through this ordeal, check out the Vossler’s blog, Nicholas Bites Back