“It was like ‘Jaws’… a huge triangle of teeth coming right at me”
Eric Wiberg walked into the New York StoryBooth without an interview partner. Looking back on it, I’m not sure anyone could have kept up with him.
A former captain of vessels who has literally been around the world four times over, Eric shared hard-won memories of his life out at sea. There was the time he made $59 for six months’ out at sea. And the time he was stuck on the same boat as a septuagenarian nudist and an out-of-control captain. Nothing however could top the time a shark nearly ate him alive.
Eric was about 40 feet underwater when his crew mates on the deck of his ship started pointing down. That’s when he saw a shark shooting straight up at him, mouth open and teeth bared. Eric had to decide between trying to swim back to the surface or fighting back against the shark on its home turf. An accomplished swimmer, he decided to make a break for the boat. Somehow, he made it up the boat’s ladder and onto the deck before the shark could close the gap. A moment later, the shark ripped off a chunk of the ladder he had just climbed. That was one of the six shark attacks Eric has survived.
Eric doesn’t live out at sea anymore though. He has a suit and tie job now, as well as a wife and child he loves dearly. He says he still feels the sea call out to him sometimes, but that he now knows where his real home is.
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