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Top 10 Shark Attack Stories

        Animals | Sharks

Robert Pamperin
A great white shark leaps from the water off the coast of South Africa.
A great white shark leaps from the water off the coast of South Africa.
Brandon Cole/Getty Images


­The case of Robert Pamperin is interesting because he may have actually been completely devoured by a giant great white shark. Pamperin and his diving partner, Gerald Lehrer, were diving for abalone off the coast of San Diego, Calif., in 1959, swimming about 50 feet (15 meters) apart. Lehrer heard Pamperin scream, "Help me!," and turned to see his fellow diver upright and high out of the water with his mask off. Lehrer swam toward his friend and watched as he descended slowly beneath the water. At this point, Lehrer dove down to see Pamperin in the mouth of a gigantic shark he estimated to be more than 22 feet (7 meters) long. Lehrer noted that Pamperin was in the shark's mouth up to his waist and was dragged down to the ocean's floor. Lehrer dived down and saw the shark thrashing about with Pamperin still in his mouth. He ascended to get a good breath, and then dived again to try to frighten the shark. This didn't work, so Lehrer swam to shore and alerted the life guards. Scuba divers spent two hours combing the waters for any sign of Pamperin, only to find a single swim fin and his inner tube.

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