I was mauled by TWO great white sharks at once in world’s only double attack – they tried to rip my head off | The Sun
A SURFER has told of what is was like to be attacked by two great white sharks at once the world's only double attack.
Shannon Ainslie was just a teenger when he was attacked by two 13ft beasts – one going for his head as they other lunged for his torso.
And with 90 others being killed in South Africa's deadly waters – the young surfer's escape has become folklore on the Eastern Cape.
The horrifying incident is still the only double shark attack on a human ever recorded.
Shannon vividly remembers what it was like when both of the terrifying predators that rushed him.
"It happened so quickly," the 38-year-old surf instructor told The Sun Online.
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"I couldn't feel any pain, I didn't have any fear – I thought I was dreaming."
The feeding frenzy took place at Nahoon Reef – an idyllic surf break with a gory reputation.
It was the middle of winter, amid the annual sardine run when large schools of fish make their way from Durban to Cape Town.
The likelihood of a great white chasing those bait balls is very high.
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But with 15 surfers braving the East London local break, Shannon and his mates couldn't resist.
An hour-and-a-half later, the youngster was charged by two great white sharks.
He told The Sun Online: "All I can remember was being thrown into the air and then my hand and board were crunched in the shark's jaw.
"Then it dragged me underwater."
I looked down and half my hand was hanging on by a thread
Shocking footage showed the moment he was taken and pulled down into the depths.
At the same time, the other monster propelled through the water and took a swipe at his head.
It missed but it also startled the other beast.
He said: "The first shark lost its grip on me and let go.
"It just stared at me, face to face with one black eye traced on me with it jaws wide open."
Shannon resurfaced with his board in a pool of blood.
He said: "I broke the surface and looked around and everyone was paddling for their lives and I couldn't work out why.
"I looked down and half my hand was hanging on by a thread.
"At that point, I knew it wasn't a dream and the panic set it."
Shannon was roughly 300ft from the shore and he only had one option.
But with a lull in waves, a psychological thriller slowly played out in his head.
As is common with most shark attack survivors, they accept being finished off.
He said: "I started to cry.
"My body went weak, useless, I was expecting to be eaten.
"I could only pray."
Out of the blue a wave finally arrived and he rode it on his belly as far as he could.
He furiously paddled the rest – feeling the cold water rushing through his open wounds to his bones, tendons and joints.
Footage showed the moment he was met by his brother and friends who used his leg rope to tourniquet his arm.
They rushed him to hospital and Shannon miraculously survived.
This July will mark the 23rd anniversary since his near death experience.
And despite the trauma, the incident only fuelled his passion for surfing.
Shannon eventually moved to the famous Jeffrey's Bay where he studied the water sport like an art so he could pass it on to others.
He travelled the world coaching surfing and now bases himself in Norway where the Arctic water is too cold for most sharks.
He said: "It has been a good experience because it has changed my life.
"I became grateful and I realised I need to try make the most of it.
"You do it to give other people opportunity and to make the world a better place."
Shannon said he has no animosity towards the sharks that tried to kill him.
He said: "I have nothing against predators – it's their home and hopefully we can all share it."
If you want to learn more, Shannon released his biography in 2022 called Child of the Wild Coast: The story of Shannon Ainslie, dual great white shark attack survivor.
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