A suspected shark bite off the shores of Bay Head leaves a teen surfer with half a swim fin and an adrenaline pumping story to tell for the rest of his life.


16 year old Quinn Gates was inches away from losing his foot Thursday, while body boarding with a friend on the south side of the Mount Street jetty in Bay Head.

In what experts believe to be a shark bite, Gates had a chunk taken out of his swim fin, but was otherwise unharmed.

NJ.com reports a New Jersey shark expert who reviewed a photo of the light blue silicone swim fin said it’s possible a 6-8 foot shark could have chomped on it, mistaking it for a seal or fish.

“New Jersey is one of the better places for sharks to find prey,” says Capt. Stephen D. Nagiewicz, chairman of the board of trustees of the Shark Research Institute. “We have abundant food — massive schools of bluefish and tuna.”

Gates told reporters he saw tiger sharks in the same area about a month ago.  He says the close encounter won't stop him from going out in the water again, but next time, he'll pay more attention.