Shark Attacks Commercial Fisherman Off Louisiana

The crewmember fell overboard while trying to untangle nets from the propeller.

The Coast Guard medevacked an injured crew member from a fishing vessel after a shark attack approximately 35 miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, Friday. Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watch standers received a call at 12:51 a.m. via VHF-FM channel 16 from personnel aboard the fishing vessel Moon Glow stating a 64-year-old male crew member had been attacked by a shark and sustained a severe leg injury.

The man had reportedly been untangling fishing nets from the vessel’s propeller when he fell overboard and was bitten by a shark of an unknown size and species. Crew members aboard the Moon Glow applied a tourniquet to the man’s partially amputated leg and radioed for help.

Watch standers consulted with the duty flight surgeon, who recommended a medevac. A Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew launched to the scene. When the helicopter crew arrived, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer administered first aid and applied a new tourniquet to the man’s leg. The crew hoisted the injured man and transported him to University Medical Center New Orleans in critical condition.

Bull sharks are among the most aggressive species toward humans.

New Fishing Rules

NOAA Fisheries increased the retention limits of large sharks in the Gulf of Mexico through the end of 2021. As of August 24th, fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico who operate under Shark Directed Limit Access Permits may retain up to 55 large coastal sharks per vessel per trip. Large coastal sharks (LCS) do not include sandbar sharks, but do include hammerhead and blacktips. This change increases retention from the previous limit of 45 LCS by an additional 10 per vessel per trip. In the Eastern Gulf of Mexico sub-region, this increase applies to sharks within the LCS, hammerhead, or blacktip management groups. This is in contrast to the Western Gulf of Mexico sub-region. There, the LCS and hammerhead management groups are closed, so the increase applies only to the blacktip group.