Shark attacks are rare but are associated with a high morbidity and significant mortality. We report the case of a patient's survival from a shark attack and their subsequent emergency medical and surgical management. Using data from the International Shark Attack File, we review the worldwide distribution and incidence of shark attack. A review of the world literature examines the features which make shark attacks unique pathological processes. We offer suggestions for strategies of management of shark attack, and techniques for avoiding adverse outcomes in human encounters with these endangered creatures.