03/16/2009 Mike Spalding ( Hawaii )

Listing of the Shark Attack Related Incidents occurring in 2009. 2009 Shark Attacks

03/16/2009 Mike Spalding ( Hawaii )

Postby sharkbait » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:24 pm

Something, most likely a cookie-cutter shark, took a bite out of Mike Spalding's left calf Monday night as he was attempting to swim the nearly 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel from the Big Island to Maui.


Likely shark bite ends channel swim
Kula man suffers chest, leg wounds

By BRIAN PERRY, City Editor
POSTED: March 18, 2009


Article Photos
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo

mike_spalding_chest.jpg
Bite marks can be seen on Mike Spalding’s chest Tuesday.
mike_spalding_chest.jpg (33.75 KiB) Viewed 7179 times

Bite marks can be seen on Mike Spalding’s chest Tuesday.

mike_spalding.jpg
Mike Spalding
mike_spalding.jpg (48.48 KiB) Viewed 7180 times


mike_spalding_leg.jpg
Mike Spalding uses a toy shark to show where he was bitten on his leg.
mike_spalding_leg.jpg (43.4 KiB) Viewed 7182 times



WAILUKU - Something, most likely a cookie-cutter shark, took a bite out of Mike Spalding's left calf Monday night as he was attempting to swim the nearly 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel from the Big Island to Maui.

"I'm a glutton for water time," said the 61-year-old Kula resident, a well-known open-ocean swimmer and a Maui Realtor. "I was in a zone. . . . I was in pig heaven. And then this thing happens."

"This thing" was a 3-inch-diameter, 1-inch-deep wound on the back of his left leg, an injury most likely inflicted by a species of shark that grows about 20 inches long and takes melon-ball-sized chunks of flesh from its prey.

Spalding was about 4-1/2 hours and 11 miles into crossing the channel about 8 p.m. when, at first, he felt a sharp pain on his sternum, which turned out to be a superficial wound. Nevertheless, he immediately began moving to a kayak accompanying him.

About 15 seconds later, "I got hit in the calf," he said. "It was such a disappointment because I knew the swim was over. I was bleeding profusely."

In darkness, except for a light on a kayak paddled nearby by Bubba McLean, Spalding made his way to the boat to get away from whatever bit him.

"I didn't see it," he said of the shark. "All I felt was the bite, and I got the hell out of the water as quick as I could."

McLean, also a Kula resident, said he heard Spalding yell in pain.

"It was pretty crazy. He got hit twice," said McLean, who estimated he was about three feet away from Spalding when he was bitten.

McLean described the night as pitch black. "I couldn't see anything in the water," he said, adding that he knew Spalding was in serious trouble "because of the way he yelled."

Spalding scrambled into the kayak, the bottom of which began to quickly fill with blood. McLean said he took off his gloves and fumbled with the zipper of his backpack to grab a VHF radio to call a nearby support boat for help.

The boat and its crew picked up the men and the kayak. Kihei resident Rob Phillips, coach of the Kihei Canoe Club, was on the boat and said everyone did what they could to make Spalding comfortable and to stop the bleeding.

Pressure was applied to the wound with a towel. Then, an antibiotic was put on the wound, which was covered with gauze and secured with duct tape, Phillips said.

The crew took Spalding to the Kihei Small Boat Ramp where his wife, Jill, was waiting to drive him to Maui Memorial Medical Center. Spalding said that the boat ride took 2-1/2 hours, but he was not in a lot of pain. Instead, he was upset that his attempt to cross the channel was cut short.

Spalding, who was inducted into the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame in 2008 for his seven successful channel swims between Hawaiian Islands, said he has only one remaining, "the hardest one," the 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel between the northern tip of the Big Island and the southeast shore of Maui.

He said he knows of only two people to accomplish the feat - Harry Huffaker in April 1970 and Australian swimmer Penny Palfrey, who reportedly did it in 14 hours and 51 minutes earlier this month.

Spalding said he had been training for six months and waiting three months for perfect conditions to make the crossing - perfect weather, variable winds and favorable tides.

He left Upolu Point on the northern tip of the Big Island around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

"We got a nice push off the island with the currents," he said. "We had a real good time. Everything was looking really good."

Although Spalding never saw what bit him, he said he had no doubt, "It's a cookie-cutter shark." He said he's certain because of the symmetrical shape of his calf wound as well as the shape of the bite mark on his sternum.

Spalding said the incident won't end his quest to swim the Alenuihaha Channel.

He said he's being well cared for at the hospital, particularly by Dr. Peter Galpin, who might do a skin graft on the calf injury. On Tuesday, the wound was being flushed out and cleaned, and Spalding was being given antibiotics.

Before long, "I'll be dancing," Spalding said. "I'll be back in the hunt, back trying to train for the channel again. . . . I'm looking forward to the next time I get out there and finish this channel."

Dr. Tim Tricas, a professor of zoology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a research lab at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, said he couldn't be certain Spalding was bitten by a cookie-cutter shark (Isistius brasiliensis).

But, the description of Spalding's wounds, is "consistent with a bite from a cookie-cutter shark," he said.

Tricas said such sharks have very sharp teeth. They usually prey upon pelagic fish, such as tuna, or porpoises.

The animals spend much of their time during the day in deep water, but at night they come near the surface to feed, Tricas said. They wound, but don't kill their prey.

A full-sized cookie-cutter shark would be about half a meter long, he said.

* Brian Perry can be reached at citydesk@mauinews.com.


http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.de ... tml?nav=10
sharkbait
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 4:04 pm

Re: 03/16/2009 Mike Spalding ( Hawaii )

Postby helmi » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:19 am

-
Cookie-cutter sharks ‘sort of a mosquito of the sea’

Shark expert: Kula man may be first live person to be bitten

By BRIAN PERRY, City Editor

POSTED: March 21, 2009

WAILUKU - Despite the loss of a piece of his left calf from a shark bite Monday, Kula resident Mike Spalding still wants to become the third person known to swim the nearly 30-mile Alenuihaha Channel from the Big Island to Maui.

But shark expert John Naughton said Thursday that Spalding may have already achieved a different kind of notoriety as the first live person to be bitten by a cookie-cutter shark.

Judging by the description of the bite, a circular plug of flesh taken from Spalding's calf, "I can't imagine what else it would be," said Naughton, who retired recently after 40 years with the National Marine Fisheries Service and who still does consulting work on sharks.

The incident occurred in pitch-black darkness shortly after 8 p.m. Monday as Spalding, a 61-year-old Realtor and well-known open-ocean swimmer, was about four hours and 11 miles into his swim from the Big Island to Maui. He didn't see the animal that inflicted a superficial wound on his chest a few seconds before biting him in the calf, leaving a circular wound 3 inches in diameter and about 1 inch deep.

Spalding was taken by his support boat to the Kihei Boat Ramp, where his wife, Jill, drove him to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Naughton said the cookie-cutter shark, also known by its scientific name Isistius brasiliensis, normally takes bites out of open-ocean fish like ahi, mahimahi or ono, Hawaiian monk seals, dolphins or whales.

The shark grows up to 20 inches long and has razorlike teeth - a tiny set along its upper jaw and large, jagged teeth on its lower jaw, he said. The creatures live deeper than 1,000 feet during the day and cruise to the surface at night.

"They're a slow-swimming animal," Naughton said, but the sharks make up for their lack of speed with a bit of trickery.

The lower part of the shark is bioluminescent, meaning it glows in the dark, and fish at lower depths see the light and come nearer to investigate, he said. When the fish gets close enough, the cookie-cutter shark lunges, sinks its teeth into flesh and gets spun around by the force of the water. The combination of the shark's sharp bite and spinning movement cuts a plug of meat from its prey, said Naughton. The bite would not kill the fish.

Naughton added that the shark's feeding behavior is theorized since it hasn't actually been observed. He said scientists developed the theory by dissecting cookie-cutter sharks caught in open-ocean trawling nets. The sharks' stomach contents included flesh from fast-swimming fish like mahimahi, and the theory helped explain how a slow-moving shark could get close enough to take a bite out of the faster-swimming fish, he said.

Cookie-cutter sharks are "sort of a mosquito of the sea," Naughton said.

He said he's familiar with the Alenuihaha Channel, and "can't believe (Spalding) was swimming there at night."

"The currents in the channel can be something," he said. "It's one of the nastiest pieces of ocean in the world."

Naughton said the only other incident he's aware of in which there was evidence that a person was bitten by a cookie-cutter shark was in July 1992. He said he was called into the Honolulu Medical Examiner's Office to examine the wounds on the back of a fisherman who had drowned. He had tied himself to an ice chest and was found floating about 15 miles off the coast of Waianae. The man had the distinctive, circular wounds left by cookie-cutter sharks, but the medical examiner thought the wounds were inflicted after death, he said

In Spalding's case, "it's the first I'm aware of (of a cookie-cutter shark) attacking someone while still alive," Naughton said.

Most serious, sometimes fatal, shark attacks are attributed to tiger sharks, and these incidents usually occur near shore, he said. But tiger sharks also feed in the open ocean, especially at night.

If Spalding's encounter had been with a tiger shark, "that would have been a hell of a lot more serious of a chomp," Naughton said, adding that shark experts recommend that people not swim at night.

Spalding checked out of the hospital Friday but planned to return later for a skin graft.

When asked about Naughton's assessment that he might be the first survivor of a cookie-cutter shark attack, Spalding said he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said he thought the shark was attracted to a group of squid that had been drawn to a light on the kayak next to him.

On his next channel crossing attempt, he said he plans to use less light to attract fish, and to have improved communications with his support crew.

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.de ... 16284.html

---------
helmi
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:23 pm

Re: 03/16/2009 Mike Spalding ( Hawaii )

Postby alb » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:54 pm

cookie-cutter-injury.png
Calf Injury after 7 days
cookie-cutter-injury.png (49.76 KiB) Viewed 3001 times
If you or a loved one was involved in a negative sharky encounter please contact us!!!
http://sharkattacksurvivors.com/general-contact-us/survivor-contact-survivors-only
Shark Attack Survivors visitors we have been working hard to establish a worldwide team of survivors for our Survivors Services to assist other survivors. We could use some help Please Donate!!!

Image
alb
 
Posts: 729
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:41 pm


Return to 2009 Shark Attack Related Incidents