Heather Boswell attacked by Great White shark off Chile while swimming
Wednesday, March 23, 1994,
South Pacific Ocean:
"I felt something grab my leg and jerk me," recalled Heather Boswell, a 19-year-old Seattleite who had signed on for a six-month term working in the galley of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research ship Discoverer. Boswell and several of her shipmates were taking a break, swimming in balmy waters some 300 miles east of Easter Island. What she believes was a great white shark first chomped the legs of a seaman swimming nearby, opening wounds that would require more than 50 stitches; as it turned out, he got off easy. Quickly grabbing first Boswell's right leg and then her left, the shark pulled her under, shaking her violently like a dog with a rag doll. When the fish resurfaced, two of Boswell's colleagues in a skiff grabbed her arms while another beat the shark with a stick. Boswell felt her left leg pop. "I thought it was my hip dislocating," she said. Only when the crew pulled her up into the boat did she look down and realize that her leg now ended at midthigh. The shark then headed for another person dangling in the water from a ladder, but shots fired by crewmen on the ship evidently drove it away.