There is not a surfer alive who hasn’t been asked, “Aren’t you afraid of sharks?” But maybe people have it all wrong? Instead of living in unnecessary fear of an apex predator indiscriminately chomping at your femur, maybe you should be worrying about being crushed by the full weight of a plane?
As ridiculous as both sound, the latter nearly happened when a World War II plane crash-landed way too close to people swimming and surfing in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The TBM Avenger is a WWII torpedo bomber that was flying in the Cocoa Beach Air show when a mid-flight mechanical issue forced the pilot to bring the restored plane down over the water.
No one was hurt, but as countless videos posted to social media prove, there were plenty of people close enough to the emergency landing that it all could have gone terribly wrong. Videos show surfers and swimmers bobbing just offshore while the plane flies low overhead, touching down and coming to a pretty immediate full stop. There’s even a surfer who cruises in on a wave right behind the crash site. Meanwhile, at the end of the impromptu runway, you can also see a collection of surfboards sitting in the lineup.