F1 driver Eddie Irvine 'cheats death' after shark attack in the Caribbean


Formula One racing legend Eddie Irvine has reportedly cheated death after a shark attacked him in the Caribbean.

The former driver, who raced for Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar between 1993 and 2002, was diving near his home in the Bahamas when he was attacked by the man-eating shark.

Eddie, who is originally from Co Down in Northern Ireland but now lives in the Caribbean, told how he fought off the animal with a spear.

He said he hit the shark but it continued to chase him as he swam away, reports the Mirror.

According to The Sun, he said: "I turned to face it - not easy to do - and hit it with my spear. It turned away but came back as I reversed out of his territory."

He added: "It was dusk - so I guess I deserved it a bit."

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Irvine, known as Fast Eddie, bought an island in the Bahamas' Exuma Cays for £1 million back in 2010.

He reportedly spotted the island while flying over the Bahamas from his Miami base.

He was keen to create an eco retreat. He told the paper: "The Exumas are getting destroyed by Americans who are coming in and building Palm Beach-style houses on the most gorgeous islands in the world.

"My thinking is, 'Why go to the Bahamas to build Palm Beach? Why not just stay in Palm Beach? They are totally not in keeping with the surroundings."

Stars on neighbouring islands include Johnny Depp, Nicolas Cage, and Eddie Murphy.

Celebrities with private islands
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F1 driver Eddie Irvine 'cheats death' after shark attack in the Caribbean

While filming Pirates of the Caribbean, A-list actor Johnny Depp fell in love with the lost-at-sea lifestyle, and snapped up his own piece of paradise in the Exumas area of the Bahamas. Little Halls Pond Cay - also comically dubbed 'F*** Off Island' by Johnny himself - runs exclusively on eco-friendly solar power, and Johnny snapped it up for £2.2 million back in 2004. 

Environmental crusader Leonardo DiCaprio added the 104-acre Blackadore Cay to his property portfolio in 2005. The Titanic actor bought the island - located between mainland Belize and Ambergris Caye - for around £1 million, and plans to to turn it into a resort offering eco tours. Let's hope he doesn't charter his own yacht trips - Leo and boats don't have a great history…

Any time country-singing star Faith Hill and her actor husband Tim McGraw fancy escaping the ranch, they just jet off to their own slice of paradise in the Exumas area of the Bahamas, where they own a fully developed private island complete with crystalline sandy beaches and trails.

Singing sensation Celine Dion warbled herself all the way to owning a luxury French chateau-style retreat on her very own island in Quebec. Il Gagnon is located on the Mille Iles River, where tourists can get a little peak of the property on a local boat tour.

Magician - and former flame of Claudia Schiffer - David Copperfield owns a 150-acre island not too far from neighbours Johnny Depp and Nicholas Cage. Famous guests at the exclusive getaway include John Travolta and Oprah Winfrey. Got £200,000 to spare? You too could stay at this haven for a week… No? Us neither. Perhaps we could ask David to make it magically appear in our bank account. After all, he does claim to have an insect-resurrecting stream on his island, so surely making money appear from nowhere is child's play...

At 5,400 acres, Mel Gibson's Fijian heaven is one of the largest privately-owned islands in the South Pacific. Mel purchased it for £5.7m back in 2005. Aside from a relatively modest private residence, the island remains untouched - and Mel plans on keeping it that way.

Long-time Bahamian resident Nicholas Cage already owns a house on the luxurious Paradise Island, but snapped up an undeveloped island in the Exumas chain, close to Johnny Depp's oasis, back in 2006. The savvy actor reportedly bought the hideaway for £2m, and has now put it up for sale for a princely sum of £4.5 million.

Rooster Cay seems the perfect name for funnyman Eddie Murphy's Bahamian island bolthole. The isle is situated just 5 minutes away from the mainland town of Nassau, and sits on its own 15 acres of land. It hasn't been confirmed whether Eddie is keeping it solely for personal use, or whether he'll turn it into a resort, but if he chooses the latter, we're sure he'll be laughing all the way to the bank...

Livin' la Vida Loca singer Ricky Martin is certainly livin' the high life after bagging a private island in the ultra-exclusive resort area of Angra dos Reis, where South America's gorgeous and glamorous flock in their droves.

Formula 1 star Michael Schumacher parked up on a private island in Dubai's World Project - for free. Yes, you read that right. Development company Nakeel created the World Project with 300 man-made isles brought up from the sea floor, which were then made to resemble continents and countries. While Richard Branson bought 'Great Britain' (of course), Dubai's crown prince very kindly gave Michael 'Antarcica' as a retirement present. And the island, worth around £4.5 million, came complete with a home fit for a king, a beach, and landscaped gardens.

Serial private island-purchaser Sir Richard Branson surely kickstarted the trend single-handedly. The billionaire Virgin boss's most famous spot is his Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which he uses with his family, as well as hosting reams of famous guests, from Kate Winslet to Steven Spielberg. Along with his other haven in the BVI, Mosquito Islands, he also owns Makepeace Island in Australia, which he reportedly plans to turn into a resort for Virgin staff, and the World Project's Great Britain in Dubai.


See more shark attack stories below:

World’s Worst Shark Attacks
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F1 driver Eddie Irvine 'cheats death' after shark attack in the Caribbean
Back in 1959, Robert Pamperin was diving for sea snails in La Jolla Cove, California when he was attacked by a shark. His diving companion Gerald Lehrer painted a vivid picture of the events that day. According to reports, Gerald turned to see his friend rising unusually high in the water. He dove below the surface and saw his friend waist-deep inside the shark’s jaws. Despite his efforts to distract the shark, Robert was dragged to the sea bed in the jaws of the 22-foot shark.

Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton has proven that not even a shark attack can keep a girl down.

At the age of 13, while surfing off Kauai’s north shore in Hawaii, Hamilton was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark and was left with a severed left arm.

After losing more than 60% of her blood, Hamilton required several surgeries, but she did not let the incident impact her dreams of surfing.

Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Hamilton returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. Shortly thereafter, she made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition.

Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title.

In 2010 she was the 20th ranked woman among surfers and her autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back was made into a movie with Dennis Quaid and Carrie Underwood in 2011.
When HMS Birkenhead struck a rock just three miles from the coastline in South Africa, the disaster was only just beginning for its crew.

After the captain commanded that ‘women and children’ take the undamaged lifeboats, the rest of the 643-strong crew made up of British and Irish soldiers, were left on board to go down with their ship.

Tragically, once the vessel sank, the men were not given the opportunity to swim to safety. Sharks surrounded the floating men and embarked on a feeding frenzy.

According to one report, in a very short time many of those who survived the sinking were dead. And on the surface of the water, which was covered in blood, floated the almost unrecognisable remains of those who had been attacked by sharks.

Just 193 people survived the disaster.

Rodney Fox was just 24 years old when he was viciously attacked by a great white shark, while competing in a spearfishing competition off the south Australian coast. It later turned out that they only thing keeping Rodney’s internal organs from falling out of his body -- and him alive -- was his wet suit.

After a nightmarish shark attack that left his ribs broken, one lung ripped open, the main artery from his heart exposed, diaphragm punctured and right arm flayed to the bone, Fox needed 462 stitches to put him back together.

Reports say that Rodney went on to design and build the first underwater observation cage to dive with the great white shark, and for over 40 years has led major expeditions to film and study his attacker.

The coast of New Jersey was struck by a series of shark attacks back in 1916. During a heat wave that saw Americans flock to the beach, four people were the victim of shark attacks.

According to The Telegraph, the first victim was 25-year-old Charles Vansant, who bled to death after sharks stripped the flesh off his thigh as he went for an early-evening swim.

Less than a week later, a 27-year-man suffered severe injuries to his stomach, and severed legs, while swimming at a beach just 45 miles from the first attack.

Six days later, further north up the coast, 12-year-old Lester Stillwell was dragged underwater as he played in the sea with his friends.

Tragically, attempts by his father to save his son, resulted in his also being attacked and bleeding to death.

When British naval ship HMS Valerian capsized during a hurricane, near the coast of Bermuda, the surviving crew members were savaged by sharks in the water.

There were 88 fatalities, most of them from shark attacks, according to reports.

As the sailors hung on the life rafts for dear life, sharks pulled some of them off and into the water, where they were bitten and chewed in a shark feeding frenzy, reveals sharkfacts.com.


Rescue boats managed to pull just 20 survivors from the waters.

Perhaps the most hard-to-read shark attack story of recent years was that of Ian Redmond, 30, who was attacked and killed in the Seychelles while on his honeymoon.

In 2011, Redmond went snorkelling 20 yards from the shore, where his new wife was sunbathing, and was attacked by a six-foot shark.

An American tourist told the Daily Mail that someone saw a fin sticking out above the water. According to the tourist, a woman then ran over, screaming, "That’s my husband! We were just married."

Redmond wasn’t the first man to be attacked off Anse Lazio beach, Paslin island. Just two weeks before, a 36-year-old French tourist was killed by a shark off the same beach.

In 1945, when two Japanese torpedoes hit the USS Indianapolis in succession, a chain reaction of explosions ripped the ship in two and of the 1,196 individuals aboard, just 900 made it into the water alive. 

However, that moment was just the beginning of one of the worst shark attacks in history.

For four days the crew bobbed in the water while the sharks feed off their group, picking off the dead and injured first.

By the time a rescue crew arrived only 317 individuals remained alive.

According to Salon.com, estimates of the number who died from shark attacks range from a few dozen to almost 150.


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