First living person bitten by a cookiecutter shark

Last updated: February 9, 2019 at 3:13 am

Mike Spalding, 61, was bitten by a cookiecutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis) on his left calf on March 16, 2009, as he was attempting to swim across the ʻAlenuihāhā Channel from the Big Island to Maui (Hawaii). Spalding was about 11 miles into the crossing when the attack occurred. He was first bitten on the chest and then he was bitten on his calf. The 7.6 cm (3 in.) diameter, 2.5 cm (1 in.) deep wound was typical of a cookiecutter shark. Spalding completed the swim in 2011.

Honebrink, R., Buch, R., Galpin, P., & G. Burgess. 2011. First Documented Attack on a Live Human by a Cookiecutter Shark (Squaliformes, Dalatiidae: Isistius sp.). Pacific Science. 65(3): 365-374.

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