Great white shark killed bodyboarder by crushing skull and leaving rogue tooth embedded in victim’s back

A great white shark cracked a bodyboarder’s skull as it lost a tooth in a fatal California attack, a coroner’s report reveals

Published

Tomas Butterfield, 42, died from multiple bites to his shoulder, chest and head.

He was bitten by the shark on December 24, 2021, in a surf area north of Morro Rock, US.

Surfers pulled Mr Butterfield ashore after he was spotted in the water face down, still attached to his board, with a shark tooth embedded in his back.

Great white shark
Great white shark
Great white shark
Great white shark

Detective William Miller, of the San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s office, wrote that Mr Butterfield died from “complications of multiple penetrating blunt force traumatic injuries”.

Mr Butterfield had been visiting his mum for Christmas.

He went to the beach at around 10am and his body was found at 10.39am, the coroner’s report reveals.

Speaking after the tragedy, Mr Butterfield’s uncle said it was “tough” for the family.

He told the LA Times: “We are going to be okay.

“But even at that, it’s a tough time holding it together.”

He then praised those who helped drag Mr Butterfield’s body from the sea, saying she is “obviously part of the family now”.

He added: “There is the possibility that his board might have gone further out to sea and that he would have been missing forever.”