Skip to main content

Man Claims to Fight off 20-Foot Shark with a Knife (I'm Dubious)

  • Author:
  • Updated:

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish kite surfer Jan Lisewski fought off repeated shark attacks, overcame thirst and exhaustion in a two-day battle of survival on the Red Sea, Polish media reported on Tuesday.

The 42-year-old Lisewski had completed two thirds of a 200 km (124 miles) attempt to cross the Red Sea from the Egyptian town of El Gouna to Duba in Saudi Arabia when the wind suddenly stopped, deflating his kite.

Faced with rising waves and approaching nightfall the Gdansk-born Polish kite surfing champion and instructor sent out his first SOS signal, but it took nearly 40-hours for the Saudi Arabian coastguard to find him.

Lisewski -- who became the first person to kite surf across the Baltic Sea last year -- survived the ordeal with help of energy drinks, some water, two energy bars and a trusty knife to fight off sharks up to six meters (yards) long.

I'm prone to calling shenanigans on Jan Lisewski and I'll tell you why. While I'm sure Polish kite surfing champions are a tougher breed than desk-bound marine journalists such as myself, I did do a little research, and the only 20-foot sharks in the Red Sea that are trying to eat meat are giant, man-eating tiger sharks. To which I say to our fearless hero: Really, bro? Did you bring along a light saber on your kite surfing adventure? Maybe a full-size scimitar? Because I can't imagine ol' Sharky McEatyourface up there getting scared when you break out your trusty Swiss Army knife and take a stab at him with the can opener. Just seems like a stretch to me. But I don't know, I've been wrong before.

If he did embellish though, I don't blame him. I mean, when you're waxing philosophic about your own completely uncorroborated heroics, it's go big or go home. No witnesses dude, might as well go nuts! Throw some pirates into the story. Rogue nuclear subs. Smoking hot mermaids begging you to live under the sea with them and be their Man King for all eternity. Why not? Nobody was there but you.

P.S. I kid. If this guy really did fight off 20-foot sharks with a knife for two days straight I would follow him into the gates of Hell faster than you can say El Gouna to Duba.