In a gruesome reversal of many reports on this blog – this time the shark has been identified, but not the person.
According to media reports originating mostly from the Bahamian newspaper, Tribune242.com, a 12-foot Tiger shark was hooked about 35 miles south of New Providence over the weekend of 4-5 September 2010 near the Exuma chain of islands in the Caribbean by fishermen who were targeting grouper.
Apparently, when the shark bit onto a grouper that was caught by the fisherman, they claim it regurgitated a human foot, which promted them to reel it in for closer inspection.
“We tied the rope around his tail fin, and pulled him towards the boat. We were going to cut the hook out of his mouth and let him go when he regurgitated a human foot — intact from the knee down,” a fisherman told Tribune242.com.
The shark was taken ashore and cut open at the Defence Force’s Coral Harbour base. In its belly Defence Force officers found the man’s right leg, two severed arms and a torso in two sections.
The victim is described as a “black man, of heavy build and heavy structure”.
“He had neither clothes nor any identifying marks,” one of the deep sea fishermen who hauled the gruesome catch on board his boat, was quoted as saying.
The article said police were awaiting DNA results to tell them if the remains belong to one of three men who were reported missing at sea. They included 62-year-old Frank Brown Sr and 47-year-old Delton Newton, who disappeared after their boat experienced engine trouble in waters off the Port of Clifton Pier, Bahamas the week before this gruesome find. And a man was reported missing after he disappeared from a boat off Acklins Island, Bahamas, the week before.
However, an archivist at the Global Shark Attack File said the body of the man did not necessarily come from the Bahamas as Tiger sharks regularly migrated large distances and that undigested remain could stay in the stomach “for quite a while”.
According to a study by Rathburn and Rathburn’s on human remains found in a shark, published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, human parts can remain undigested in a shark’s belly between eight and 21 days.