San Diego, CA- Brad Billings (22), is recovering in a San Diego area hospital after a shark bit off his right arm this past weekend. Brad wanted to complete a new social media challenge on TikTok, where you must pet a shark in the wild. Internet challenges have had disastrous results over the years and this new “Pet a shark” challenge was turning out to be no different.
Brad skipped the tide pod challenge a few years back, but was ready to shine by petting a shark in the wild. He rented a boat and rode out off the coast of San Diego in search of a shark. About an hour into his foray into the pacific, Brad spotted a Great White shark in the distance. Slowly he closed the distance between him and the shark. When he was close enough, he threw a couple cheap steaks into the water to draw the shark in.
When the Great White was within arms reach, Brad extended his right arm while attempting to film the event with his phone in his left hand. Leaning in to pet the shark, it abruptly lunged upward and bit off his right arm. Stumbling backwards, Brad dropped his phone in the ocean. Stunned, he still had the presence of mind to race the boat back to shore and get help.
He piloted the boat right onto the shore of the closest inhabited beach. Lifeguards rushed to offer him aide and were fortunate enough to stem the bleeding before sending him off to the hospital. Brad will fully recover from his injuries minus the arm now sitting in the shark’s belly. “I should have heeded the warnings of my friends and family. They told me it was a bad idea, but I didn’t want to listen. The pressure to be popular and entertaining on social media is real, but what i’ve lost in that pursuit has changed the direction of my life forever”, Brad Billing reflecting on his decisions.