SHARK!

edited April 30 in General Discussion
I've been swimming about five years now and am interested in pursuing marathon swims. I am generally fit and can swim 9.2 miles in one session. Probably could go more but the race was over.
I saw three barracuda and several million moon jellies.
OK. Question? How many shark attacks have been perpetrated on marathon swimmers?
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Comments

  • NiekNiek Member
    edited October 2013
    @Leprechaunturd Haven't heard about specific a marathon swimmers being attacked.
    Have heard about surfers being attacked.

    More about shark attacks at this link
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • lakespraylakespray Member
    edited October 2013
    Here is one recent case, Charlotte Brynn was apparently attacked during her Catalina channel attempt, the injury was minor and she kept swimming but still..... http://dailynews.openwaterswimming.com/2013/10/the-positively-focused-mindset-of.html?m=1
  • ” Another woman asked, ‘Have you heard any news of the shark?’ I replied, ‘No, we’re not tight, I’m not planning on keeping in touch.”

    I like her attitude.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Thanks guys. I really didn't think there would be many bites. I think it is just a primal fear.
  • Mike Spalding from Hawaii is another.

    http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?title=Mike_Spalding
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    edited October 2013
    Apparently this was one of our own. News reports say he was snorkeling but Brenton Williams is saying on FB that this was his friend & he was swimming....

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/shark-kills-man-snorkeling-off-coast-in-jeffreys-bay-south-africa/story-fni0xs61-1226738688020
  • On every single solo open water swim I've done (hundreds) there has always been a 12 ft. shark swimming just outside of my vision. I can't see him. But I know he's there. I'm pretty sure its the same one, too, although I haven't yet figured out how he manages to get into the fresh water lakes.

    But seriously, I did have a shark "encounter" once, in the Gulf of Mexico (while SCUBA diving). A six(?) foot shark swam right up and seemed to be trying to ram me. I pushed his head down and he came back at me to presumably do the same thing. I pushed his head down again and he swam off. The whole thing seemed very non-threatening and I don't recall even being remotely scared. Which is weird, because it was the sort of thing that I would expect to terrify me. It was almost like I was watching someone else on television and it wasn't happening to me at all. I actually had my GoPro on at the time and filmed the whole thing. If anyone is interested, I'll post a link to the footage.

    Even more odd is that I WAS scared when I had an encounter with a large pod of dolphin in La Jolla. It was a sunrise solo swim of around 3-4 miles. About a mile in to my swim, I ran into another a group of 5-6 swimmers doing the outer buoy route and I swam into their draft. Between the second and third buoy, a pod of what seemed like 30+ dolphin swam right in and among us and stayed there for several minutes. It was surreal to me. I'm not from La Jolla, so I didn't know what to make of this and I was a bit freaked out by it. The locals I was with seemed very calm about it, like it happened all the time, so I took my cue from them and just tried to enjoy the beauty of it. I don't know why I was scared by it. There's just something weird about being surrounded by 30 mammals who seem to be trying to engage at least check you out.
  • I actually had my GoPro on at the time and filmed the whole thing. If anyone is interested, I'll post a link to the footage.

    Go for it. I'm interested.
    And I'd be freaked out by dolphins too, yet one day I'd love to swim w/ some.
  • This is where I found some kind of answer to that same question, a while back. Not sure how reliable it is but it's interesting data.
    http://www.sharkattackfile.net/incidentlog.htm
  • Unfortunately the initial media reports about the shark attack in Jeffreys Bay were incorrect.

    Burgert was an experienced open water swimmer and he went for a 2 - 3 K swim along the coast on Friday morning in pretty much perfect conditions.

    An accurate report, together with an interview with the first responder can be found via this link. This is the first ever attack on an open water swimmer that we know about in South Africa

    http://www.jbaynews.com/rip-burgert/
  • calypso said:

    This is where I found some kind of answer to that same question, a while back. Not sure how reliable it is but it's interesting data.
    http://www.sharkattackfile.net/incidentlog.htm

    Perfect. I'll spend more time with this but appears that sharks are not such baddies; however, I think that a support boat is a must just in case. #:-S
  • Here is the link to my shark "encounter." Note the steady, rhythmic breathing. Weird. I was really detached from the whole thing.

    And yes, I used the GoPro (on a 2 ft. boom) to push the shark back (or maybe I was pushing myself back?)

    https://vimeo.com/70160942
  • @ Spacemanspiff
    "Shark encounter" seems to be a more accurate description (as opposed to an attack.) Little fella looked like he was just curious and was head butting you much like my cat does for want of attention. But very cool that you were able to record it. /:)
  • "Shark encounter" seems to be a more accurate description (as opposed to an attack.)

    Agreed. I used "attack" in quotes in the title more for comedic effect than descriptive.

    Although if you saw all 4.5 minutes of the event, including the 2-3 minutes of him thrashing about with our bag of lion fish (and Rogelio fighting him over a particularly spectacular catch), it has a bit more flavor...
  • If you are still worried consider an investment in a shark shield.
    Link to their site http://www.sharkshield.com/
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    In a tribute to my shark friends everywhere and food for the needy...Sharko will be towing the infamous shark fin along with a hybrid duck/shark around the Santa Cruz Pier on December 14th...about a mile in warm 53f water...the event is called "will swim for food" and I believe "shark bait"/trouble will be there as well...wish us well....
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited December 2013
    Food for the needy sharks? You're such a shark lover! :)
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • SharkoSharko Sonoma County, CAMember
    We have been having a bit of a cold snap and the ocean temperature is dropping a bit...did our New years Alcatraz qualifer today and the water was no more than 51f...probably the same in Santa Cruz and maybe 48f for our New Years Day Alcatraz swim...haven't had those temperatures in quite a few years.....do you think we can make it from Alcatraz in 48f...start taking your bets!!!
    "I never met a shark I didn't like"
  • 55 at the buoy off Avila Beach.
  • Thank you for starting this thread. Now stop it! I'm terrified. I remember a certain race in Maui when I was wishing, wishing to see a shark, so I could have an "excuse" to get out. Little did I know, a shark had been spotted by another swimmer, but my smart husband chose not to tell me. I had just visited the Maui aquarium the day before, and learned that sharks are generally nocturnal. But with that many boats in the channel, you might wake one or two, and they might get a little curious. This one was probably a tiger shark, who quickly lost interest and descended deeper.

    Charlotte's story is strange and interesting. Maybe she startled the leopard shark? We see them in LA all the time, they usually just run away. But I do get concerned. They say your chances of being attacked are very very slim. However, how many people have been attacked during a Catalina crossing? Ok, only one, and probably at least 500 people have attempted that swim? So my chances of getting attacked while swimming the Catalina Channel are 1 in 500? Sounds like a lot! But actually, I think it's .2%. I guess I'll have to live with that.
  • http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • NiekNiek Member
    edited April 29

    behind the movie scenes here
    About the woman Lesley Rochat
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    I envy those of you who have had dolphin pod encounters! Has anyone ever had a negative experience with a seal or sea lion?

    Frequently, when I cross Quartermaster Harbor, (Vashon Island, Puget Sound) a seal or two will appear nearby and escort me across. The water is normally pretty murky, so I've never seen one approaching underwater, which is probably for the best.

    Once, I thought a friend was drafting at my left hip, because I could feel her pull swishing past my leg….only I looked over there and it wasn't her. I was looking a harbor seal right in the face, about 4 feet away. We gave each other a startled look, then kept swimming, maybe a tiny bit faster. The guys on the boat asked if I'd seen it and if it was biting my feet, (who asks that?!?) because it was drafting right behind me when they saw it. When I climbed up on the boat, there were lots of seals around the other swimmers who were still in the water.

    They seem to be curious about us and they certainly enjoy a draft across the harbor. I like the "Wild Kingdom Experience", but there's still a tiny amount of creepy factor to it.

    Just don't let the "Jaws" music get going in your head.
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • HIswimmerHIswimmer Member
    mike spalding was swimming from Hawaii island to maui (alenuihaha channel) 4 hours into his swim at 8:00 at night he was bitten by a cookie cutter shark. those sharks live only in very deep water and only come up to feed at night. so if you are swimming at night in very deep water, you should think about cookie cutters(or not)mike has a good hole in his calf but was fortunate no muscles , nerves, or tendons were cut.
    we have not had anyone attacked by a shark while doing any of the Hawaii channels. we did have 1 swimmer who was bumped by a shark while he was attempting to cross the Molokai channel at 3:00am and he did abort his swim.
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember
    Just saw this Ted Talk linked on facebook today about wetsuits designed to confuse shark's vision. No reason why it could not be applied to full body suit swimsuits though.

    Full body swim suits are obviously a whole other can of worms I realize but certainly an interesting technology and perhaps more respectful to the animals in question than bang sticks and spear guns :-)

    Doubly interesting for me in that I went to high school with the speaker (he was the year above me).
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • suziedodssuziedods Member
    @ wendy.. regarding 'negative encounters'... uh.. yes. IN Aquatic Park there have been roughly 20 bites from sea lions over the past 25 or so years. Alot happened in 2006 and then again a few (5?) years ago. We don't know why, we have asked the Marine Mammal Soc a few times to come talk about this but they haven't a clue. There have been more than numerous 'bumps, brushes"etc as well. Most are harmless but certainly for me terrifying and annoying at the very least. On a Sacramento to AP relay swim about 6 yrs ago a friend was "body slammed "at Carquinez St by a massive sea lion. I have not heard of any issues out in SF Bay proper.
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    Those stellar sea lions are huge. I have to admit I'd probably scream and try to get out if one of them seemed to be coming after me.

    The guy in front of me at a race off Tacoma scared a Cali sea lion off a harbor buoy. It jumped off right in front of him, then swam undereath me. I was planning on giving it at least 15 yards of space. When I asked him why he went so close to the buoy, he said he thought the sea lion was fake. Okaaay....

    Jaws music
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
  • jenschumacherjenschumacher Charter Member
    @wendyv34 I'm not sure about others who swim in my area (Laguna Beach, CA) but I've experienced one bump by a sea lion on a very murky day (likely an accident) and one interaction which began pleasantly and then went south. I was swimming with two other people and a kayaker was present and at first one, and then a second sea lion began doing tricks underwater and playing around with us. After about 5 minutes one of them became aggressive (perhaps they were competing with each other?) and started rushing up to us and came within inches of my belly several times at very fast speeds. Towards the end it began barring it's teeth, which we took as a suggestion to get out of town :) We swam to shore and no one was harmed. Despite these two incidents, the chances of this are low; I've probably had close to 50 pleasant or neutral sea lion encounters in that area.
  • I wonder how many open water swimmers have been killed in car accidents on their way to swim? Surely more than have been taken by sharks, yet we still drive to go swim #justsaying
  • IronMikeIronMike Bishkek, KyrgyzstanCharter Member
  • NiekNiek Member
    Fishermen were laughing as the shark trashed about amongst the swimmers, commenting how it landed on them. source: http://swimswam.com


    I have downloaded the video in case it gets removed.
    http://openwaterswimming.eu - Cold, wind, waves, sunburn, currents, jellyfish and flotsam! Hop in and join the fun!
  • Yesterday, CNN reported that the swimmer didn't need stitches. Panic could have been a/the real killer. The video has them pretty far off-shore without an escort. Risky if you ask me.
  • I saw the report this morning and I was wondering who would say what here. Thanks to Niek for the video (I don't know if "Like" is the right response). Typical (expletive deleted) bone heads!

    When I saw Robles angry at the fisherman, I didn't understand (and I don't know that I do now) but this video sure doesn't sound like "Oh we were trying to hold the shark off the swimmers!" In fact it seems like the shark bit Robles WHILE it was still hooked. Or they cut the line while the shark was right there amidst the swimmers.

    "Get out of the water!" How would you like them to do that? Just stand up and walk on it?
    I understood that the shark had been on the line for 45 minutes before the bite. So he hooked while these swimmers were over a mile away. So what justification does this blockhead have for not cutting the line right then? And then when he saw the swimmers coming, he had plenty of time to cut and let it run.

    I understand that "Poop occurs." And I'm very glad that Steven is going to be (physically) ok. What I don't understand is the fact that some dumbass recorded his friends and himself laughing about a shark among swimmers and then uploading it to YouTube or where ever. It's like it doesn't occur to him that he's at least partly to blame for this! There is a difference between "Fame" and "Infamy!"

    My other question is (even more so that the shark was still on the line at the time of the attack) did the shark bite out of anger? Out of frustration? Out of desire for revenge against mankind? Or was he trying to hold on to something to give him leverage against something that was ripping his lips off? All of those seem to give the shark too much sentience. I don't understand the "Feed" answer in that if that were the case, (and aside from the fact that this young shark eats fish and only starts to eat "big game" later in life) then why didn't he try for another swimmer? There were several there to choose from. I would guess that he was hungry (which was why he bit the hook in the first place) and after 45 minutes of life or death struggle (far as he knew) he'd be even hungrier. But, again, then why did he leave all the other swimmers be?
  • dc_in_sfdc_in_sf San FranciscoMember

    Yesterday, CNN reported that the swimmer didn't need stitches. Panic could have been a/the real killer. The video has them pretty far off-shore without an escort. Risky if you ask me.

    It's a bit hard to tell from the angle on the video but I suspect that the swimmers are inside the length of the pier, so probably less than a couple of hundred yards off shore, which doesn't seem that risky for a large group of experienced OW swimmers. I've swum that beach a couple of times and was forced to be nearly out that far after I got dumped once swimming too close to shore.
    http://notdrowningswimming.com - open water adventures of a very ordinary swimmer
  • lakespraylakespray Member

    The video has them pretty far off-shore without an escort. Risky if you ask me.

    He was in a fairly large group of swimmers, there was a Stand Up Paddle in the back, not sure if they were an escort or not but they were very much in the vicinity. I have swam here myself and other So Cal locations with piers, even though the pier makes a great navigation point I've been weary and now will be more weary of them. It's always been in the back of my mind that fisherman bait hooks. The lesson; give piers especially those that allow fishing wide berth. Since it was a group I wonder if the next news story will be they didn't pay for there permit http://www.marathonswimmers.org/forum/discussion/514/swim-at-la-county-beaches-get-a-permit-/p1

  • A report I read had them swimming from Hermosa Beach to the Manhattan Beach pier every Saturday.
  • lakespraylakespray Member
    From a Nat Geo article on incident

    They're not very common; we see a few a year. This one was especially unusual. You don't usually have shark fishing and swimming together.

    There [have been] a few attacks where sharks [have been pulled] onto a boat, and then fishermen have tried to remove the hooks. And sometimes you get "stupid human tricks," [like] when a diver will grab a shark by its tail. Other provoked attacks include spearfishing incidents and accidents when sharks are attracted by bait. In the California case the fisherman was reportedly using chum, so that would make it a double whammy.

    We shouldn't be fishing for sharks and swimming in the same place—that's a no-brainer. California officials should be evaluating the wisdom of allowing those two things to take place [at the same time].

    It's also not real smart, in areas with great white sharks, to have a swimming beach right next to a seal beach, which is what you see in some other areas. Juvenile great whites like the one involved in the attack Saturday generally eat fish, but adult great whites eat seals. Swimming near seal beaches can be dangerous.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140707-california-shark-attack-great-whites-safety/?google_editors_picks=true#
  • flystormsflystorms Dallas/Ft Worth, TXMember
    This was an interesting commentary from Open Water swimming. Reading through it, plus this forum thread makes me so much more angry at those damn fishermen who laughed at what was going on. I'm glad to see that the swimmer is doing okay and only has minor injuries. I can only imagine the nightmares he's going to have for a while.
  • From Friend of Steve Robles, David Neilan:

    Hi,

    It was my Saturday swimming pod that had the shark attack on Saturday July 5th at 9:30AM just before the Manhattan Beach Pier. I was with the lead 3 swimmers on the video. There were 14 swimmers in the group and 3 of them immediately came to Steve's help and brought him in to the lifeguards who were rushing out.

    Steve is doing well, although it will take time for the physical and psychological healing to take place.

    Steve Robles did a solo Catalina Channel crossing in August 2013. He was training for a solo Molokai crossing this September. That is now off the table for this year.

    John York of the Catalina Channel Swimming Association set up a crowd funding for Steve's medical bills. He has no health insurance. John was at Steve's home on Saturday night and went out to get his prescriptions filled for him at 11 PM.

    Please send this link out to your swimming community. Any donation will help.

    Thanks,

    Dave

    http://sponsormyswim.com/campaigns/support-shark-attack-victim-steven-robles

    Even with an obvious shark encounter and blood in the water, Robles’s teammates from his open water swimming group performed admirably. They quickly came to his rescue. They were clearly thinking of their teammate; they put their friend first and foremost in their minds. They pulled him to shore after the traumatic Great White Shark attack in one of the most popular beaches of Southern California. 100% of the proceeds will go to Steven Robles’ medical costs.

    STEVEN NEEDS OUR HELP
    Steven Robles was injured badly by a Great White Shark while swimming along the coast of Southern California in Manhattan Beach. Steven has been released by the local hospital, but he is incurring large medical costs. He is without health insurance and must cover his hospital and emergency bills. Any help by the open water swimming community helps.

    Even with an obvious shark encounter and blood in the water, Robles’s teammates from his open water swimming group performed admirably. They quickly came to his rescue. They were clearly thinking of their teammate; they put their friend first and foremost in their minds. They pulled him to shore after the traumatic Great White Shark attack in one of the most popular beaches of Southern California.

    Before Steven Robles Was Attacked By A Great White Shark
    For years, we swam 2 miles between the Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach piers in Southern California. Near the runway of the LAX International Airport, it is a conveniently located stretch of warm, clear water that is heavily populated with ocean swimmers, triathletes, surfers, body surfers, fishermen, walkers, runners, and skaters.

    As an open water swimmer, it is a fantastic place to train and race as the piers are nearly 2 miles apart and the coastline is fairly straight. The coastline is lined with multi-million dollar homes, gorgeous skaters in bikinis, and buff, fit beach volleyball players. The surf is consistent as are the presence of surfers and other marine goers. With rather mellow conditions most of the time, especially in the morning, and churned up sea with the afternoon winds, the 2-mile stretch is a great training ground year-round.

    We have seen all kinds of marine life over the decades, from dolphins to sting rays, turtles and fish along this outstanding course. Seaweed patches dot the shoreline as do an occasional piece of plastic. When we run into the seaweed or debris, our hearts always jump. We always fear the worse.

    We clearly understand the risks of venturing past the shoreline at places like Manhattan Beach. But frankly, the inherent risk of jellyfish stings or shark bites are simply too small to give up ocean swimming. The challenge of swimming pier to pier and the joy of body surfing into the finish are much greater draws than the fears of jellyfish or shark encounters.

    But we have always steered clear of the pier, especially when fishermen are out casting their lines and trying to catch fish.

    We were frankly more fearful of getting hooked ourselves rather than encountering a ray or shark as we approached the pier. But even at 100 meters away from the pier, we often raised our head, swimming head up and always watchful of fishing lines and fishermen purposefully casting in our direction.

    There is no clear legal distinction who has the right of way or who has priority in these waters: fishermen or swimmers. But it is an unwritten, humanitarian understanding that dictates that fishermen should pull their lines or refrain from casting their hooks and lines in the direction of swimmers. Surely, fishermen get easily frustrated by swimmers splashing in the area of their focus. They would much rather fish in peace, pulling up all kinds of fish, rather than have to deal with interruptions caused by ocean swimmers who swim close to piers.

    Fortunately, the peaceful, unspoken alliance between fishermen and swimmers continues for most of the time and under nearly all conditions on the many piers along the East and West coasts of America. The marine enthusiasts with fishing poles and swimming goggles easily and rightly co-exist and share their joys in the ocean.

    But Steven Robles was not so fortunate. The lifelong ocean swimmer and lifeguard was caught in a terrible cascade of unfortunate events when a fisherman was hooking a shark and trying to reel the estimated 7-foot Great White Shark in as swimmers were in the water. The complete lack of regard of swimmers in the water – who were clearly in sight – and the total inattention to safety and common courtesy was shocking to see.

    How this fisherman and his friends, as well as other witnesses on the pier, could not and did not consider the inherent danger of swimmers in the water near an injured, mad shark, fighting for its life with a hook deeply embedded in its mouth is simply beyond us.

    If hunters shot a bear and it was running towards campers, would not the hunter try to warn the campers? With all the Discovery Channel television programs on Shark Week and movies about sharks, would not the fisherman and friends try to warn the swimmers – and even more realistically, stop trying to reel in a shark when swimmers were in the water?

    It is a shocking lack of care for one’s fellow human being. Perhaps they were not thinking and perhaps they were having too much fun, but couldn’t someone on the pier have alerted the swimmers in the area? The swimmers were swimming gradually in the area where the shark was hooked; the swimmers did not suddenly come into view.

    Robles and his teammates answered the emergency as best they could. Even with an obvious shark encounter and blood in the water, Robles’s teammates from SCAQ performed admirably. They quickly came to his rescue. They were clearly thinking of their teammate; they put their friend first and foremost in their minds. They pulled him to shore after the traumatic Great White Shark attack in one of the most popular beaches of Southern California.

    They came to the rescue of a situation that should have never occurred at all and is a lesson for everyone who casts and hooks a shark with swimmers obviously in the water. With swimmers so clearly visible in the water and a shark fighting for its life with a hook in its mouth, swimmers can hope that someone – anyone – who is witness to such a scene would not only make the effort to warn the swimmers and stand-up paddle boarder, but also to encourage the fishermen to cut his line.

    Editor’s Postscript: Sakina of OC Open Water Swims clarified the situation that appears in the video above: “The guys were not the actual fishermen who caught the shark. They were just fishing with other people at the pier and happened to see the scene and shoot it…I don’t believe they realized the gravity of the situation until later. They were just acting stupid, so stupid it seems that they sold their own video…As for the actual fisherman who caught the shark initially, he apparently stated he did not use chum.”

    Steven Robles needs our help. SponsorMySwim.com is a crowd funding platform, but it is being used in this case to help a fellow open water swimmer who founded himself swimming unexpectedly with a shark with a hook in its mouth. 100% of the funds will go directly to Steven Robles to help him offset his medical costs.
  • It's true. Swimmers and fishermen should stay away from each other.
  • edited July 9
    image
  • edited July 10
    Not for nothing, but how does that guy not have health insurance? Has he never heard of "Obamacare?"

    And how does this add up to $40,000? He was treated and released, it didn't take stitches (according to someone above). He didn't even get admitted "John was at Steve's home on Saturday night and went out to get his prescriptions filled for him at 11 PM."
    He has a cast. It was traumatic. I wish him all the best. But no Health Insurance? That's a self inflicted wound. And $40,000? If that's even three times what his medical bills cost he's getting bit by a bigger "Great White" than the one that bit him in the water. This one is wearing a white lab coat!
  • suziedodssuziedods Member
    edited July 9
    I have reached out to Mr York. I have extensive experience in dealing w medical bills and the insurance companies. First off, Medi-Cal ( medi-caid in the rest of the country) can go retroactive , up to 3 sometimes 6 months. The hospital should have a financial counselor to get him to apply to Med-Cal. It's easy, you just go online. If he does not qualify for Medi-cal, the hospital shld have a foundation to which he can apply. They may write everything off. Hospitals are required to provide a certain amount of eleeomossonary care( I gotta spell ck that) ( or financial aid in the form of free care) in order to continue to receive Medicare and Medi-Caid funds. Those funds are a HUGE part of operating monies for the hospitals.They sometimes are looking for bills to write off. If he does not qualify for Medi-Caid or hospital assistance then he most certainly should apply to Covered California, which is the format the Affordable Care Act takes in CA.
    There are three companies in CA , offering "Obama Care" insurance. Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Health Net. The Hnet market is bigger in SoCal than in Nor Cal.
    Barring failure in any of those options, ALL bills are negotiable and ALL bills can be paid off on a payment plan. The hospital doesn't want to send him to collections, but they may want to write off the bills.
    As to w how it can be $40k? The ambulance was probably 5K. And they are the worst. Don't pay a penny to ambulance until you get an itemization. Your bandage is going to be billed at $10... and that's the one you got on your arm for the whooping cough vaccination. They are difficult.. don't ignore it but don't pay it blindly.
    I had a needle taken out of my toe ( long story) and it cost $3K. My portion was $150, which I got written off by asking and showing my income.
    I have been doing this for 30 years, as long as I've been OWS.... I am happy to talk to the fellow. Please pass my info along.
    I realize this is kind of off topic.. but I guess what I'm saying is if you ever have a medical bill that doesn't make sense or you can't afford to pay.. talk to me. :)
    I mean, if you fall on the way down to the lake at SCAR, twist your ankle, or if you get whammed in the head by a kayak on END_WET... "who ya gonna call?"
    I love swimming
    www.suziedodsswimcoaching.com
  • It's when you hear of stories like this (about the medical bills) when you start to appreciate the NHS.
  • edited July 10
    How can it be $40k? Easily, is how. When my wife had neurosurgery for the tumor in her head in 1992, AFTER insurance paid their share, our cut was $75,000. Luckily, I was receiving a strong royalties stream from a software package I had written and could pay it (barely). Due to other medical bills (F-You, U.S. Healthcare, you turds), we basically went under in 1995 and then again in 1998. In the latter case we were about $300 short of having to sell the house by the time her health finally turned around. I once figured out that we have had to spend about $300,000 - $400,000 in the last 20 years on this.
    Several thoughts about how Mr. Robles might be able to force things in the system to his advantage, based on experience:
    1) If you owe someone $1,000, YOU are in trouble. If you owe them $100,000, THEY are in trouble. This means that you actually hold the whip in the latter case and are in a strong bargaining position. Don't let the numbers scare you and use your leverage.
    2) In PA, the law states that you must keep current on your medical bills and if you do so, they can't take you to collections/court. Rather nicely, there is no definition as to what that means except that payment should be monthly. Further, the hospital can't force you into paying a monthly amount that they determine unless you sign an agreement. At one point when we were basically broke, I was being put under heavy legal pressure for money we simply didn't have, so I sent the hospital $5.00 each month like clockwork for 6 months until they got alot more reasonable and would negotiate. If CA is like PA, the lesson is: sign NOTHING unless it is to your best interests and stay current as if it were an article of religious faith.
    3) If you are severely in medical debt and receiving impossible demands, threaten to go into bankruptcy. I did this to a number of lawyers. I told them that if they would back off, their clients would eventually get every penny I owed them. I also said that if even one of them got stupid, I'd take us into full-scale bankruptcy and that given my history of mental illness and my wife's physical illness, would be easily able to convince any judge that we would NEVER be able to pay them back. It bought me alot of time.
    I am proud to say that I kept my promises and DID pay everyone everything we owed, but it did take awhile and alot of work.

    Socialized medicine now!

    -LBJ

    "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot
  • evmoevmo San FranciscoAdmin
    Baby GW's cruisin' around at the Dwight Crum Pier to Pier swim in LA, one of the larger OW races in the world at 1200+ entrants:

    http://www.easyreadernews.com/85803/time-sharks-surf-festival-dwight-crum-pier-pier/
    "I was aware of the shark. I saw it when I was approximately 500 yards south of the Manhattan pier,” Bullock said after the race, “…but I had a lot of other thoughts going through my head at the time, so when I saw the shark, I was like ‘Oh wow, there’s a shark. Can’t stop because I might get beat."
    :)
  • wendyv34wendyv34 Vashon, WAMember
    I like the quote from the shark: “All these swimmers are freaking me out.”

    I came across this and had to order one:

    http://www.headlineshirts.net/shark-salad-t-shirt.html
    It's always a bad hair day when you work at a pool.
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