Wednesday 10 August 2022

Dutch tv biologist bitten by shark while filming, gets 100 stitches

Photo: Freek Vonk Facebook

Dutch biologist and television presenter Freek Vonk has undergone a three-hour operation and received more than 100 stitches after being bitten by a shark.

Vonk was bitten while diving with reef sharks off the island of Bimini for a new television programme. He was flown by helicopter to Miami for treatment.

Reef sharks are friendly and normally pose no danger to humans, Vonk said. ‘But it still went wrong,’ Vonk said on his Facebook page. ‘One of the sharks made a mistake and took a bite at my right arm. I knew immediately something was up.’

Vonk said he wanted to emphasis that his accident was due to an ‘unfortunate combination of circumstances’ which neither he, his team or the shark could do anything about. ‘I was just extremely unlucky,’ he said. ‘Nothing like this has happened in the 27 years that Sharklab has been researching here.’

Vonk, who makes programmes for Dutch television as well as National Geographic and Discovery, is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.