Heather Boswell was only a teenager when she lost her leg to a shark. That was in 1994. And it was all recorded on home video.
Boswell’s harrowing shark-survival story, and others who suffered a similar trauma, are told as part of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week,” which premieres Sunday, August 4.
Only a small percentage of shark species are considered dangerous to humans. In fact, more people die from bees, wasps, and snakes each year than sharks, according to the International Shark Attack file.
But run-ins between humans and sharks do happen — whether by accident or provoked.
All of these shark attack victims lived to tell their stories, but not without injuries.
Heather Boswell was 19 years old when she was attacked by a Great White Shark while swimming off the coast of Chile.
The attack happened as the young researcher and her crew members were swimming in the balmy waters of the Pacific Ocean, enjoying a day off from their environmental work.
Rare home video shows the crew snorkelling and having a good time -- all captured just seconds before Boswell's world was about to be changed forever.
Boswell saw the shark's dorsal fin and felt it gently chewing on her leg. 'It felt like a puppy,' she said.
The situation quickly worsened. Boswell's shipmates tried to pull their imperiled team member out of the water and into a rescue boat.
You can hear people shrieking in the background as the beast drags her under the water and shakes her around like a rag doll.
Meanwhile, Boswell's colleagues make a second attempt to get her into the rescue boat. One person grabs her arms while another beats the shark with a stick.
It was only when Boswell was safely on the boat that she realised what had happened. She looked down: most of her left leg was gone.
New Zealander Andrea Rush was swimming near an anchored yacht off Maleukula Island in the South Pacific when she was attacked.
It sank its teeth into her leg and whipped her around. Rush was able to break free by punching the animal in the nose.
Rush swam to the yacht, where the skipper and a friend hoisted her out of the shark-infested waters.
A Bull shark nearly cost Dr. Erich Ritter, a shark behaviorist, his life while he was filming an episode for the 2002 'Shark Week' in Walker's Cay, Bahamas.
Ritter was standing in shallow water as part of an experiment to show that sharks are not interested in humans as food.
That's when a Bull shark came from directly behind him and bit him in the calf. The shark tore off the muscle and opened an artery.
The scientist was immediately flown to a Florida hospital where doctors managed to save his leg in an eight-hour operation.
Vaughan Hill, a commercial diver, blacked out after a 15-foot Great White ripped into his arm with its powerful jaws.
Hill was harvesting paua, a kind of edible sea snail, off New Zealand's Pitt Island at the time of the accident.
He spent three weeks in a coma and two years at the hospital in recovery. Today, Hill is missing his right arm.
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