Wednesday, March 24

1749 Havana, Cuba Shark Attack - Leg amputated

The story in Havana, Cuba in 1749 was about a victim named Brook Watson, a 14 year old teenager, already a crew member of a trading ship that docked in Havana. Orphaned at six years old he was subsequently sent to live with his aunt and uncle in Boston, Massachusetts where his uncle traded in the West Indies.

Brook was swimming in the harbor when a shark attacked him twice. The first attack removed flesh from below the calf of his right leg; the second attack bit off his right foot at the ankle. Once his shipmates pulled him out of the water, he already lost his foot in the attack and later had the leg amputated below the knee. He stayed in a Cuban hospital and recovered after three months.

His ordeal was depicted in a 1778 oil on canvas painting by John Singleton Copley entitled "Watson and the Shark"

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