"I clearly saw my father in the mouth of the shark," - Mediterranean's first reported shark attack in nearly three decades
Thursday, February 2, 1989, Piombino, Italy:
In an unseasonably temperate winter throughout Italy, priests on Sardinia prayed for rain and the Mediterranean remained warm enough that species not usually spotted so far north so early in the year were lurking off Tuscany.
Luciano Costanzo, a 47-year-old scuba diver, went out spearfishing with his 19-year-old son and a friend one mile off the coast, near the island of Elba, not knowing that he would soon encounter a shark, believed to be a great white and measuring either "20 feet long" (according to the Associated Press), "at least 22 feet" (Reuters), or "25 feet" (London's somewhat excitable From a depth of about 75 feet, Costanzo suddenly surfaced, screamed, "Shark!" and lunged for the boat but was jerked back below before he could reach it.
The shark then leapt out of the water twice, its jaws clamped around Costanzo's waist, before vanishing — and notching the Mediterranean's first reported shark attack in nearly three decades.
"I clearly saw my father in the mouth of the shark," his son, Gianluca, later said. "The water became red with my father's blood." Three days later, a dive team searching with an underwater camera found only flippers, a weight belt, and two scuba tanks with tooth marks in them.