Shark that killed kiteboard surfer may have been great white

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 4, 2010 7:12 am


                                                                                 Stephen Schafer kite surfing in 2007

Yesterday we reported on the tragic shark attack off Stuart Beach in Florida that claimed the life of a kiteboarder. 38-year-old Stephen Schafer was bitten numerous times as he had an 8 to 10 inch bite mark on his right thigh, and several teeth marks on his buttocks.

Authorities are now trying to figure out what kind of shark it was that killed him. They believe it is most likely a larger breed of shark, such as a bull, tiger, or possibly great white.

Yesterday, at 4:15 PM, lifeguard Daniel Lund saw Schafer through binoculars floating in an unguarded part of the ocean. He paddled out to get him and Schafer was screaming that he had been bitten. As Lund towed Schafer in, Schafer suddenly stopped talking. Rescuers administered CPR, and he was transported to Martin Memorial Hospital where he passed away.

Schafer’s death marks the first fatal shark attack in Florida since 2005.

George Burgess is keeper of the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural History: “[Smaller species of shark] are the species involved in the occasional nips off the east coast, especially in Volusia County, but they are not man-eaters,” Burgess said. “If, indeed, the gentleman yesterday was bitten by sharks, it’s far more likely it was a larger species such as a bull or a tiger, or a white shark if it was in the area.”

Burgess may be called on to examine Schafer’s body in an attempt to determine what type of shark did this.

Our deepest thoughts and condolences go out to the friends and family of Stephen Schafer.