Shark Attacks At BUD/S


Feb 14, 2008
I was wondering if anyone could shed a little light on this topic. Have there ever been shark attacks at BUD/S training. It seems to me that some of the swims and such would be conducive to attacks. Are there countermeasures being employed?
This is brought up quite often on the boards, the general consensus is, no.

But the area around San Clemente Island is known for a large shark population, they are just to scared to fuck with a SEAL.:)
Just saying!

Was there a good reason to delete my post here? I was both a military & civilian diver and I don't think it took anything away from the SEAL community, in fact I thought that I implied that SEAL candidates usually have more to worry about then Sharks. I also thought my comments on Jellyfish and attachments were good things for any person that intends to do any diving Military or Civilian. But then what do I know.
Not SEALs, but these clips are on Paul de Gelder a RAN CD who was attacked by a hark in Sydney Harbour while training last year.

This one is not safe for work, there are pics from the operating table in here, it's pretty brutal.

FWIW, I've heard stories of SEALs getting attacked by sea lions and Dennis Chalker mentions being hit by a trained dolphin during a Red Cell exercise.

In one of the BUD/S documentaries they mention showing shark videos before a night swim, but I think that's more for motivation than education }:-)

edit: thought this might be relevant

double edit: I hope I'm not straying too far from my lane with this, it's certainly not my intent to come off like an expert.
Okay, bath tubs only for me from now on! WTF is that thing!!!

Way to many freaky things in the ocean!!!
I saw a gray flash shoot between me and my swim buddy during a BUD/S swim, once. I really can't say what it was, but it was FAST and it was about the size of a shark or dolphin. We also did a night swim during the peak of the Killer Whale migration between San Clemente and Catalina islands. We were in the middle of the brief for the timed night swim evolution when a female rep came into the classroom from the airport there on the island to issue the warning about the peak of the migration being at a certain time that night (which was EXACTLY during the schedule for our swim). The instructor cadre assured her we wouldn't be going into the water that night and she left after repeating we weren't to go into the water under any circumstances. So, as soon as she shut the door, the briefing continued. We did the swim as scheduled without another word.

Because it was dark, I didn't seen any Orcas, but we did see 7.62 tracer fire going over our heads. The next day, we heard an instructor had fired near a pod that was tracking danger close. I asked one of the instructors later if that had been some kind of joke and he assured me it wasn't and even encouraged me to look it up, because the migration was widely publicized and trackable.

Just another night of BUD/S training on the island, I guess.
Generally, noahs ark attacks are uncommon. There's stastically more chance of other shit happening to you.
When I was there sharks weren't a big issue. Never made it out to the island so I can't speak on that, but the waters off the beach by the compound and over in the bay give you other worries. I was there for scout swimmer training also and we were more focused on not getting hit by a sting ray. Over on the pacific side there are dolphins, sting rays, and sea lions. There was a guy in my class that got stuck in the leg by a sting ray at Gator Beach. On a night swim during the SS course I actually kicked a sea lion because they like to follow us in because we pushed fish for them to snatch up :p. So yeah, sharks are usually the least of your worries.
Some time ago surfing on the south coast here after a storm, I had a strange feeling about where I was, couldn't actually nail it but just a generall feeling of disquiet. The water was a bit muddy due to run off from a nearby creek and a recent storm. There were sticks and debris in the water and no viz to speak of, not really worried as the waves were ok. Then about 12 metres away a fin surfaced, a big one with a chip out of the back of it, it was coming directly at me and then dived doing a steady speed. Thought, "Oh well this looks like it." As I was lying on my board paddling, the only thing I could do was bend my legs at the knees to get them out of the water and cross my arms on the deck of the board and wait...
It wasn't along paddle in to the beach but I did feel a mite exposed.
I went up to Ventura for a surf trip during my time out in SD. I was actually at Port Hueneme's beach not far from Surfer's Beach. I was the only one out, my future wife was on the beach, and a seal pup popped up right next to me. I mean he was right next to me, 5 feet. I remember thinking, this is cute, never been this close to one of these guys. I was about to wave to my lady when I suddenly realized there was a report in the news where a lady had recently been killed by a shark while she was swimming with seals a little south in LA County, the weekend before. I went in and asked the future wife if she wanted to go eat or something. Waves weren't that good anyway, I told myself.LOL

As far as Stennis goes, I've never seen really big ones in the river, maybe 4-5 ft max. We've caught them with 550 and hot dogs. The really big ones are in the ponds that are scattered around the area. I remember seeing one that was like in the old scary alligator movies. The civilian, frmr SEAL, that runs the area said there were gators in the upper teens. I believe the big one I saw may have been the monster they talk about being the biggest. I thought it was a tree floating in the water at first. You don't really think of it much during training, on swims it's on your mind but not a threat due to the safety boats. A couple good blasts down the swim route will intimidate them.
Yeah CB... I still don't much care to get into the water down here. Blind river is so busy most of the time that the gators stay out of it, but the damned cottonmouths seem to LIKE the activity.

That Aussie dude is a badass!
It's called an OarFish, BUDls class in 1996 tracked it and caught it, then handed it over for research, Really rare.

Class 207 most certainly did not track it and and catch it in August of 1996. They found it washed up on the beach south of the compound and were allowed the photo op.

I ran by it shortly after they found it, with what would become class 210, and all we got was fucking beat down and surf tortured in front of it. Good times :)