53-year-old Manuel López was diving for mollusks near San Jose Beach in Tobari Bay on the western coast of Mexico when a monstrous 19-foot Great White shark attacked and decapitated him. The shark also took a bite off his shoulders in the feeding frenzy that ensued.
The attack occurred in front of fishermen who were helpless to do anything but watch the bloody scene unfold before their eyes as fisherman José Bernal explained to Tracking Sharks: "He was diving when the animal attacked him, ripping off his head and biting both shoulders."
Per reports, it was the shortage of seafood that drove López to make the fateful dive on January 5, 2023, in the hopes of making a financial windfall. He had dived to a depth of 59 feet without an oxygen tank for the precious ax tripe (a type of mollusk) when the fatal incident with the deadly predator occurred.
Following the warnings of shark activity reported in the area, many anglers opted to stay out of the water. However, the high demand for shellfish presented López with too good of an opportunity to pass up, and because he needed the money, he chose to take the risk.
It is still unsure what caused the shark to attack but reports suggest it may have been due to the turbulence and noise caused by López while he was harvesting the mollusks that drew the shark to him: "Humans are also often mistaken for seals while wearing wetsuits, which can prompt sharks to take “experimental” bites. And while the creatures generally move on after realizing the victim isn’t their preferred prey, this exploratory nibble can prove catastrophic due to the shark’s rows of serrated, meat-shearing teeth."
Pregnant Great Whites are known to be active in the Gulf of California during December and January while in search of sea lions to feed on.
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