Photographer Who Lost His Leg in Shark Attack Continues Getting Up Close and Personal With Great Whites

by Jonathan Howard

When you have a passion, nothing can get in the way of it. Even a nasty Great White shark attack that leaves you without a leg, apparently. For Mike Coots, surfing, photography, and great whites are what he loves. The outdoors is full of great moments. Snapping pictures of athletes on the water or predators swimming by – sometimes both. The 43-year-old won’t let one incident make him put his camera away.

Now, it’s been many years since Coots lost his leg. The surfer-photographer was bitten by a shark when he was 18 and it left him without a leg. More than two decades later, he’s still doing what he loves. His latest set of photos shows just how dangerous his photoshoots can get.

If he even has an ounce of fear towards Great Whites, he sure doesn’t show it. This shot of a shark coming straight at him as it attempts to feast on fish is just one example. You couldn’t pay me enough to float there and take these shots below.

When you hear it from Coots himself, it’s hard not to find a little twinge of passion for these gigantic underwater predators. The rest of us might see JAWS in real life, but for the photographer, it’s deeper.

“Imagine a place on Earth, that as soon as you descend below the waterline it becomes otherworldly,” Coots wrote in his post. “How nature existed hundreds of million years ago. Apex vs everything else. This is Isla Guadalupe. And these are its living dinosaurs.” You can see the rest of his photos here.

There is just something about the things that terrify us that also spark joy and amusement. Curiosity, if nothing else. The Great White shark is one of the best examples.

Great White Shark Bites Canoe in Half

Now, here is why I will never canoe or kayak in the ocean. An Australian man was out having a day on the water. That’s when things went south. Just off the coast of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales the man was met with a nightmare scenario. A Great White shark came out of the water and bit the canoe in half with just one ferocious bite.

From calm one moment, to utter chaos and then back to still waters. It was not something these paddlers thought they d see when they went out that day. There was a small group, and two others saw everything happen in real-time. Luckily, the paddler that had his boat ripped apart was able to get away in time.

Stories like these make me happy to live in Kentucky. Now, we might have snakes and snapping titles in the water, but I’d rather take my chances with one of those than a Great White shark. The oceans can keep those giant predators. I’ll stick to muddy lakes, rivers, and creeks.