Meet the Chatham Islands Diver who's been attacked by a great white shark... twice

The Morning Rumble 29/06/2022

This yarn is unreal.

Meet the kiwi bloke who's been attacked by a great white shark... twice.

The Morning Rumble caught up with Val Croon, a lad who's been diving in the Chatam Islands for over 30 years. Val's had around 21 great white shark encounters over those 30 years, two of them being shark attacks.

He recounted the scariest shark attack first, which happened just a few years ago in 2019 when he was commercial paua diving. 

"I did not see it coming. Next thing I have got this great white," Val recalls.

"The bottom jaw is on the bottom of my backpack and the top jaw is on the top of my tank...  and it is just rag dolling me around.

"I could feel the sand paper skin on my cheek, as I'm at the bottom, jammed up against its belly as it's thrashing me around."

Luckily, Val was able to use his paua hook to dig into the shark, and it swam away. Once Val had calmed down and reached the surface, he realised the shark only managed to sink its teeth into his backpack. Lucky break.

When I look back at it, you know, the thing that could have happened, you know, I wouldn't be here today telling this story.

Val's other shark attack happened in 1993, when he was free diving. He felt a presence behind him in the water, and nek minit, he's face to face with a great white, powering towards him.

"I just felt this massive grab on the end of my flipper. And then it took me down," Val said.

Val's mate came to him on his boat, lifted him up on it, and that's when Val realised the shark had bitten his foot.

"I looked down, I was barefoot on one foot, and then it was just blood everywhere.

"So it had just got a couple of teeth in the end of my feet and then just tore through my flesh, then just wipped my booty and my flipper off."

Speaking about why he continues to dive, Val says:

Sometimes the closer to death you are, the more alive you feel.

Unreal stuff. Absolute maddog.

Check out his chat with The Morning Rumble up top.