Mike Coots: From Shark Attack Survivor to Oceanic Advocate and Artist


Key Takeaways:

  • Mike Coots, who lost a leg to a shark attack, continues to surf with a prosthetic limb.
  • Coots has become an advocate for sharks and an inspirational figure.
  • He shares his journey and gratitude on social media, reflecting on his post-attack life.

At 18, Mike Coots survived a shark attack off Kauai that resulted in the loss of his right leg.

His resilience saw him return to the waves with a prosthetic, refusing to let the incident define him.

Beyond Surfing

According to a Yahoo! Life report, Coots has expanded his influence beyond surfing, becoming a renowned photographer and an advocate for the creatures that once threatened his life.

Social Media Reflections

Per the report, in a poignant Instagram post, Coots thanks his supporters and reflects on his adventurous journey since the attack, sharing images from his recovery and surfing experiences.

“It was years ago today I survived a shark attack and began my life limbless,” says one of his inspirational Instagram posts. “Every day since feels like I’m living on borrowed time.”

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Coots thanks everyone who’s helped him along the way. “What a wild, fun, adventurous journey it’s been,” he wrote.

Celebrating Sharks Through Photography

Coots recently unveiled ‘Shark,’ a coffee table book showcasing his shark photography, aiming to change perceptions and promote conservation efforts for these apex predators.

“This project has been a labor of love, born from a personal fascination after getting attacked with respect for these misunderstood creatures,” he said, per the report. “My goal is to present a fresh photographic narrative on what it’s like being apex.

“From Great Whites to Great Hammerheads, every species holds its own unique story waiting to be told.

“This photo book is my heartfelt attempt to ignite a passion for shark conservation, raising awareness about their vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of our oceans. Not to mention they are an [artist’s] ultimate muse.”

What We Think

Mike Coots exemplifies the indomitable spirit of overcoming adversity and channeling personal trials into purposeful advocacy.

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His transformation from a victim of a shark attack to a defender and celebrator of sharks challenges familiar narratives around disability and conservation.

Through his artistry and activism, Coots not only inspires individuals facing physical challenges but also educates the broader public on the importance of sharks to marine ecosystems.

His story is a testament to the power of resilience and the human capacity to find beauty and mission in the face of daunting challenges.


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