SharkBanz investigates local teen's rare attack wearing shark repelling band


A local teen is attacked by a shark, wearing a pricey shark-repelling band.

After our report showed he was wearing the device, called a SharkBanz, now one of the company's global owners steps up to investigate what caused the shark to attack 16-year-old Zack Davis.

First, they wanted to make sure Zack Davis was ok, but also to understand what happened. The teen says the owner told him it is the first time anyone has ever been bitten wearing a SharkBanz.

“I am sore. And my arm is really swollen,” said Zack Davis, who was attacked by a blacktip shark Tuesday, wearing a new SharkBanz, “it is supposed to keep sharks away..and the first time I wore it, I get bit.”

Zack Davis woke up to 44 stitches on his arm, and a phone ringing Thursday.

SharkBanz co-founder Nathan Garrison was on the phone. Garrison told Zack and CBS12 he stands behind the magnetic field shark-repelling technology, and he wanted to reach out to Zack to find out how the attack happened.

"I’m really relieved he is ok and he was super positive about his recovery." Garrison said, after speaking with Zack and reviewing the case with his team of scientists.

"What happened here is essentially the rarest of shark encounters where Zack jumped off his board and pretty much landed on the shark," Garrison said, of Zack’s rare attack wearing the device, "if anything it probably helped clear the shark out of the area quicker."

Zack said it is possible because the shark bit and released quickly. It did not tear off his arm as is often the case.

“SharkBanz technology is aimed at repelling hit-and-run shark attacks, the most common type of incident occurring when a curious shark strikes at a human in order to determine if they are prey,” SharkBanz promises its customers.

Sharkbanz video wearing the deterrent preventing a Bull Shark encounter: Most shark attacks occur in murky, shallow waters off the coast where there are a high number of swimmers and sharks sharing the same space. In this environment, sharks rely heavily on their electro-receptors instead of their eyes to “see” what’s around them, according to marine biologists. Sharks possess the most powerful electroreception of all known animals and use it to judge distance, shape, and even the heart rate of other animals near them. Sometimes when relying on their electro-receptors, a curious shark may bite a person in order to figure out what he or she is, SharkBanz said.

"If the surfer did land on top of the shark or very close to it, the shark would have likely acted defensively to this. While accidental and certainly unlucky, this is essentially a provoked attack from the shark's perspective. If the animal was cornered relative to the shore, the surfer's body, and physical contact occurred near the shark's head, the shark acted as expected. In a provoked attack situation, shark repellents are no longer effective," said scientist Dr. Eric Stroud.

Sharkbanz says they invested in research all over the globe and their data shows the technology repels sharks within 3 meters of a person wearing the device, and the deterrant grows stronger the closer the shark gets.

“Such types of encounters are very rare, this attack was certainly a very unique chain of events. Sharkbanz was designed to reduce unprovoked investigatory bites of the ankles, calves, and feet, which is the most common bite site for the United States. I believe that permanent magnet technologies and the SharkBanz remain effective for these situations,” said scientist Dr. Eric Stroud.

“I know I didn’t land on the shark, because I would have felt that, but maybe I landed close to it and scared it,” said Davis, who is still in pain, "Garrison said he would take me out on a boat when the black tips are running off the beach during migration and he said he would prove to me they do actually work so if they show me that. Then, I might be able to believe it more."

"I was on the wave, and obviously it closed out on me, so, I was under water and I could have been really, really close to him to just like bite. But he did mention that it could have been worse if I didn't wear it. It could have been." Davis said, “Maybe.”

You can understand his disbelief, after the attack, and Zack has weeks to go before he can surf again. When he is healed, he says he will put his Banz back on. Garrison is giving him a few new devices so he is “more protected.”

SharkBanz released this statement to CBS12:

We're in the process of gathering all known facts about the encounter from the victim. It's important for us to assess all the information regarding the circumstances in order to understand the shark's behavior, what ultimately caused the bite, and whether it was preventable.
We're relieved to see that Zach is already patched up and out of the hospital with plans to return to the water as soon as he's able.

SharkBanz is giving Zack new wristbands and company scientists reviewed the incident and believe the shark let go of the boy's arm quicker because of the technology. They also believe, according to their review, Zack fell on the shark and startled it, which led to the rare and unpreventable attack.

Related Link: Teen wearing shark repelling band attacked by shark

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