Revenge: an edible dish, but perhaps not a particularly edifying one?
28-year-old surfer Allen Engelman was out at Florida’s Ocean Reef Park on Monday when a seven-foot spinner shark grabbed hold of his hand by the mouth and refused to let go. Blood, pain, and rigorous shaking ensued, followed by the eventual release of Engelman’s hand, a trip to the local hospital, and 15 stitches.
“I could feel his teeth biting into me,” he told the Sun Sentinel. “He was pulling on me with a lot of power. With my right hand I grabbed his pectoral fin. He was tugging on my hand, and I was tugging on him and he let go.”
Engelman, a commercial fisherman by trade, then went all Capt. Ahab and returned to the same beach the following day, bringing with him his 5-year old son and a fishing rod. He didn’t bring his son to use as bait, however, but rather to teach him a valuable lesson in crime and punishment and justice, which he did by casting his line and hooking the shark he took to be responsible.
Given the considerable spinner shark population in the local area, it would seem unlikely that Engelman landed the same shark that attacked him, but he insists he could recognise the marks on its fins. His preferred method of execution was sitting on the poor critter until it stopped huffing and puffing.
Hardly due process, all in all.
“Now that we got the shark that bit my hand, we’re going to fillet it and we’re going to eat it,” Engelman said.
Stab mag quoted at length from Jaws in their coverage of this momentous incident, so we’re gonna one-up the caarnts with a more erudite, not to mention relevant, cultural reference.
“Aye, Starbuck; aye, my hearties all round; it was Moby Dick that dismasted me; Moby Dick that brought me to this dead stump I stand on now. Aye, aye,” he shouted with a terrific, loud, animal sob, like that of a heart-stricken moose; “Aye, aye! it was that accursed white whale that razeed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me for ever and a day!” Then tossing both arms, with measureless imprecations he shouted out: “Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out. What say ye, men, will ye splice hands on it, now? I think ye do look brave.” — Moby Dick by Herman Melville