I Survived The Shark Attacks Of 1916 PDF Free Download


The summer of 1916 marked a series of unprecedented and horrifying events along the shores of New Jersey. In a bizarre and tragic turn of events, a string of shark attacks left a trail of terror and death in its wake. This article delves into the gripping story of those who survived the shark attacks of 1916 and the incredible resilience they displayed in the face of nature’s most fearsome predator.

The Summer of Fear

The First Victim

The nightmare began on July 1, 1916, when Charles Vansant, a 25-year-old vacationer, became the first victim of this shark frenzy. He was swimming near Beach Haven when the predator struck, sending shockwaves through the community.

Panic Spreads

The news of the attack sent panic through the coastal towns. Swimmers, once carefree, were now afraid to dip their toes in the water. The threat of a shark lurking beneath the surface had become all too real.

A String of Attacks

Attack at Matawan Creek

On July 12, just eleven days after the first attack, tragedy struck again. This time, the shark ventured inland, attacking 11-year-old Lester Stillwell and 24-year-old Stanley Fisher in Matawan Creek. Fisher succumbed to his injuries, while Stillwell miraculously survived.

Bridging the Gap

The unusual inland attack sent shockwaves across the nation. Experts were baffled by the shark’s behavior. Was it a rogue shark? Were there more lurking nearby?

Survivors’ Stories

The Miracle of Charles Bruder

The next victim, Charles Bruder, was not as fortunate as Stillwell. He fell victim to the shark on July 14, 1916, while swimming at Spring Lake. Though he succumbed to his injuries, his body washed ashore, helping authorities identify the predator as a great white shark.

The Resilience of Joseph Dunn

Joseph Dunn, aged 14, was the next target. He survived a harrowing encounter with the shark at Matawan Creek on July 12, 1916. His bravery and survival instincts helped shed light on the shark’s behavior and the need for action.

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The Hunt for the Shark

Scientific Investigation

In response to the attacks, a team of scientists, led by Dr. John Treadwell Nichols, embarked on a mission to catch the rogue shark. Their efforts to study and understand the shark’s patterns would prove crucial in preventing further attacks.

The End of the Reign of Terror

Finally, on July 14, 1916, after an exhaustive hunt, the shark responsible for the attacks was captured. Inside its stomach, remains of its victims were found, confirming its guilt.


The shark attacks of 1916 left a lasting impact on coastal communities and our understanding of shark behavior. The survivors displayed remarkable courage, and scientists learned valuable lessons about these apex predators. While the events of that summer were tragic, they remind us of the resilience of the human spirit.


Que: Were all the shark attacks in 1916 fatal?
Thankfully, not all the attacks were fatal. Some individuals, like Lester Stillwell and Joseph Dunn, managed to survive despite the odds.

Que: Was the captured shark the only one responsible for the attacks?
It’s widely believed that the captured shark was the primary aggressor, but there may have been other sharks involved in some of the incidents.

Que: Did the 1916 shark attacks lead to changes in swimming safety measures?
Yes, the attacks prompted the implementation of safety measures, such as shark nets and increased awareness, to protect swimmers along the coast.

Que: What was the impact of the attacks on shark conservation efforts?
The attacks initially fueled fear and hatred towards sharks, but over time, they also led to a greater understanding of these creatures and the need for their protection.

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