This episode contains adult themes and descriptions of violence. It is not intended for all audiences. Listener discretion is advised.

Afterbite: The 1916 Jersey Shore Shark Attacks Said To Have Inspired “Jaws”

About this episode

On Saturday, July 1, 1916, a dark, handsome, 25-year-old businessman named Charles Vansant (“Van”) arrived in the resort town of Beach Haven to celebrate the 4th of July weekend with his family. 

But Van’s decision to take a quick dip in the ocean before dinner would turn out to be a fatal one. While his sister watched from the shore alongside other spectators, Van let out a piercing scream and began to swim wildly for shore. When he was about 50 yards away, suddenly a pool of blood surrounded the thrashing man– and when the lifeguard and two local men tried to pull Van to shore, a shark was still latched onto his leg. 

Despite heroic efforts to save him, Charles Vansant tragically passed away that night. His death was the first recorded fatality by shark attack in the history of the eastern United States… but only the first that occurred that fateful 4th of July weekend. Before it was over, that same shark would take several more lives in 4 separate attacks that occurred along the Jersey Shore.

Hear the terrifying, but fascinating true story that is widely believed to have inspired the classic movie “Jaws” by listening on your favorite podcatcher or viewing the videotaped recording– including a few photos–on the Scandal Water Podcast YouTube channel. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scandal Water – Submit a Question

Follow Us on Facebook: ScandalWaterPodcast

Check out Scandal Water Merch

Scandal Water is produced by Candy Thomas and Ashley Raymer-Brown 

Theme song is Scandal Water by Josh Martin