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The Shark Attack of Max Briggs


The Shark Attack of Max Briggs

Date of Incident:   June 28, 2008
Time of Day:   11h00 - 11:00AM EDT
Victim Information    
Name of Victim:   Max Briggs
Sex of Victim:   M
Age of Victim:   42
Injury to Victim:   Scrapes, scratches, and arm crushed.
Location Information    
Country of Incident:   Bahamas
State or Area:   40 minutes north of where I was staying ( Treasure Cay ) by boat. 
Exact or Nearest Location:   North Eastern Abaco out Islands
Activity Information    
General Activity   Spearfishing
Detailed Activity prior to incident:   Spearfishing
Weather & Water Conditions    
Water Clarity:   Clear Crystal
Depth of Water:   15 feet
Species Information    
Species:   Bull
Species Length:   82 inches - 6-7  feet
Description of incident:   Attack Survivor - Max Briggs

While skin diving in the Bahamas on Saturday June 28, 2008 at approximately 11:00 am I was attacked by a bull shark. 

I was spearfishing for grouper and snapper in approximately 15 feet of crystal clear calm water near the barrier reef of the north eastern Abaco out islands, approximately 40 minutes north of where I was staying ( Treasure Cay ) by boat. 

Danny & Walter Neil were approximately 30 yards away from me and another friend Frank was approximately 30 yards the other direction away.  The boat that was following us was approximately 50 yards away.. 

I spotted a large snapper on the bottom and dove down where I proceeded to spear the fish, while still on the bottom, 5 seconds after spearing the fish, I was attacked from behind by an approximately 6-7 foot bull shark.  

I felt the pressure and shaking and turned to see the shark had my entire lower leg between the knee and 4 inches above the ankle in his mouth. 

I quickly hit the shark in the head with my fist several times and he released me. 

I surfaced and started screaming for the boat.  Danny and Walter immediately swam toward me and arrived within 5 seconds.  We were floating in a pool of blood. 

Walter guarded us from behind as the shark was still circling and Danny grabbed my arm and helped me swim to the boat.  We all safely got into the boat. 

Danny and Walter, wrapped my leg in towels and shirts tightly and applied a tourniquet to slow the bleeding.  They then maintained the pressure on my leg and helped keep me awake during the boat ride.

The boat ride took 40 minutes back to Treasure Cay where the fire chief and the doctor were ready and waiting.  They stabilized me in Treasure Cay and then I was flown out by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Trauma Center in Miami where they preformed a 3 1/2 hour surgery.  

They reattached the calf muscle and all the tendons and I received several units of blood and had to stay in the hospital for 5 days. 

My spear fishing days are over after 26 years, and now I will only use a rod and reel.

I am very blessed and fortunate to be here today and I will gain back full mobility of my leg and be perfectly healthy. 

I have been back to work this entire week and with the exception of a few fish stories am back to my summer schedule.

I am approaching my full recovery with the same zeal and dedication that I have approached many things in life and am already walking with out the aid of crutches and hope to be back on my bike before the summer is behind us.

I want to thank you all in advance for your thoughts and prayers.

I have always viewed challenges in life as opportunities to make us stronger people, and this is certainly one of those opportunities. I am a stronger man, husband, father, friend, and financial advisor because of this experience and value each one of your relationships.



Injury Picture:  

All the details and pictures of this shark attack are the property of Max Briggs

Max provided this information to Shark Attack Survivors to share with you.