Crowd Surfer Shark Attack and How It Never Happened
I was browsing through my Facebook feed until I came across this story about a crowd surfer attacked by a crowd shark. It caught my attention and so I clicked on it to check it out. The victim of the crowd shark attack was a Long Island man named Tommy Kersten and was in critical condition at the Brookhaven Memorial Hospital after the show he went to. The whole story seemed a little fishy to me so I decided to investigate it a little more.
I first started with the credibility of the news website where the article came from — The Hard Times. The front page of the site bore an entire list of stories that I also found to be a little hard to believe including ones about Tupac’s Hologram living in the Bahamas and an awkward kid asking a guitarist about pedals mid-song. In the website’s About section, it mentions that all the news on the site is satire which provides evidence against the story’s seriousness.
Next I decided to look into the article itself. It said that the site of the shark attack was Rebellion Music Hall in Islip, New York, so I researched it to find that it is not actually a real place. It did not show up when I searched for it on Google maps or on Bandsintown.com when I looked for the event page for the show. I can, however, confirm the existence of the hospital the victim is staying at. Brookhaven Memorial Hospital is a real hospital in Patchogue, New York and can be found here.
The article also quotes a survey about crowd shark attacks that I found to be untrue. It said:
A study by Oceana, an international oceanic safety and advisory organization, revealed 179 crowd shark attacks in the U.S. since 2011…
I looked over the international ocean advocacy and conservation group’s website to find the statistics myself. I could find the statistics on shark attacks, but not crowd shark attacks.
I found this article to be fake for the reasons I gave above, but I have the link to the article written by Jeremy Kaplowitz below if you would like to have a look for yourself: