Planning a trip to the beach this summer? Keep a look out for sharks in the shallow water.


Memorial Day Weekend Shark Attack in Galveston

Damiana Humphrey and her family, like many on Memorial Day Weekend planned a trip to the beach. Damiana is actually from Oklahoma, but made the long trip down to Galveston to check out the beach. Sadly on May 28th, her trip took a turn as she was sitting in waist deep water, a small shark latched onto her hand.


Damiana admits the incident is a blur. She felt a sharp pain in her hand and saw what she believed is around a five foot shark latched onto her hand. She started punching it and the shark let go. As you can see above, Damiana did not lose any fingers. However, the shark did sever four tendons in her hand, which has left her unable to use it for several weeks. She was going to be a patient tech care assistant this summer, but that will no longer be happening. Damiana says she's just glad it's not worse.

Do Shark Attacks Happen Often in Galveston, Texas?

Shark attacks are extremely rare in the state of Texas with 78 total since 1865. With over 100 years of data, that number is relatively low. However, the area with the highest shark attacks is Galveston with nineteen throughout the years. "It's really rare for us to have shark bites here in Galveston. I've worked a few of them in my career and the ones I've seen were shark bites, not attacks. Meaning it was a case of mistaken identity where they latched onto a human and swam away it sounds like this may have been similar to that," said Peter Davis Galveston of the Beach Patrol Chief.

Types of Sharks You See in Galveston, Texas

Blacktip Shark

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Spinner Shark


Bull Shark

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Hammerhead Shark (Summer Months)

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Tiger Shark (Summer Months)

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Tips to Avoid Shark Encounters

  • Shuffle your feet when walking through the ocean
  • Avoid places where other water sources open up to the ocean, like a river flowing to the ocean. Here there will be an abundance of "prey fish".
  • Avoid swimming in or around a school of fish.
  • Never go in the water if you're bleeding
  • If a shark does bite you, fight the shark off. Punching or pushing the shark in the nose and gills may get it to detach

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