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Old 06-20-2007, 03:16 PM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
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So just how common are barracuda attacks? Not very common at all.

"Danger to Humans
Attacks on humans by great barracuda are rare. Inquisitive, sight-oriented fish, barracudas sometimes exhibit the unnerving habit of trailing snorkelers and divers. When attacks occur more often than not it is because a barracuda attempts to steal a fish from spearfishers or mistakenly interprets a shiny object, such as a diving knife, for the glint of a shiny fish. Such incidents usually consist of one very quick strike, the result of which may be a laceration and some loss of tissue. Fatalities from barracuda attacks are rare. In 1947, a death off Key West was attributed to a barracuda, followed by another case off the coast of North Carolina in 1957. A well-documented barracuda attack occurred on a free diver off Pompano Beach, Florida in 1960. The diver was bitten twice, and the resulting injuries required 31 stitches. However, such attacks are uncommon and more often than not easily preventable with a few simple precautions."


"Barracudas have struck twice off the Kona Coast at shiny barrettes in women's hair. The women did fine, but one needed surgery to remove embedded teeth. Still, those are two of only six recorded barracuda attacks in Hawaii in the last 42 years. Three others (counting Loumoli) were fisherman; the other was a camera-bearing scuba diver."

An probable barracuda attack off Oahu on another spearfisherman with some lasting damage appears at:

Another diver attack, (Paul check this one out):

More about Cudas at:
(including quotes from my old acquaintance Dr. Donald de Silva of RSMAS, gone but not forgotten).

Paul has a special relationship with marine predators, one of respect, understanding and frequent exposure. Between free diving, kiteboarding and standup paddle surfing, Paul spends a substantial part of the year in the ocean. As a function of this extended exposure and less clear factors he has been attacked by sharks while kiteboarding twice and now has suffered this rare but serious barracuda attack while spearfishing. I am aware of about seven kiteboarder shark attacks worldwide to put things in perspective. I asked him what he might have done differently to reduce the odds of the barracuda attack. Considering the "sneak attack" launched by the cuda short of not being there there was much else he thought he could do. These days he is more aggressive with barracuda in the area before he shoots. He gets the fish into the boat even faster than before if possible. Paul mentioned an interesting trick he uses if a cuda comes up when he is trying to get a fish into the boat. Depending on the barracuda's behavior he my drop a dive knife to spiral flashing to the bottom. This may be a pretty good distraction for cuda's although he thought it might not do much to an overly interested shark. I told him I used to do something similar with shells at the beach in the water with barracudas when I was a spud. They get rev'd up and hit the flashing object, knife or shell. He is a very well rounded waterman with decades of experience in many countries worldwide (his business was called "Kitesurf-the-Earth"). Search for "Menta" on this site and you will come up with many great stories.

Anyway, have a care Paul, I know you will and have fun out there.

Paul starting a world record attempt with four other riders to cross from Key West To Cuba via Kite in 2001. That was an incredible story all by itself. Read all about it at:
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transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by RickI; 04-23-2008 at 10:03 AM.
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