Story at a glance

  • A “Jackass” star was bitten by a shark during the “Jackass Shark Week” episode.
  • Sean “Poopies” McInerney was bitten by a Caribbean reef shark while attempting to “jump the shark” for a stunt.
  • McInerney had his tendons and two arteries in his hand torn but is recovering and said he doesn’t blame the shark.

“Shark Week” started off on Sunday night with a bang — or should we say bite?

On an episode called "Jackass Shark Week," featuring members of the infamous "Jackass" crew, things went awry — or, really, as one might expect — during one of the stunts when Sean "Poopies" McInerney was bitten by a Caribbean reef shark.

The entire episode was centered around members of "Jackass" — Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Jasper Dolphin, and McInerney — attempting a series of truly jackass shark stunts, “for science,” to provide a prime example of all the things not to do if you want to decrease your risk of being attacked by a shark.

And man, did it work.

Shark biologist Craig O’Connell, as well as a team of other professional divers and medical personnel, accompanied the "Jackass" crew to minimize the risk of them harming the sharks and the sharks harming them. 

"From the start, I was very uncomfortable. But they say that life starts at the end of your comfort zone. And I was definitely at the end of my comfort zone," O’Connell told Daily Beast.

What followed was a variety of ludicrous stunts, which included Pontius donning a bright matador costume and cape as he attempted to get a bull shark to charge like a bull, the contrast and movement of which sharks are attracted to; new member Dolphin floating on a small inner tube dangling bait in an attempt to measure the force of a sandbar shark bite; and Steve-O sweating in a tracksuit on an exercise bike before jumping in the water to see if bull sharks could smell a human’s sweat.


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McInerney faced danger of his own design when he, in the last stunt of the episode, attempted to recreate the famous Fonzie "Happy Days" scene where he "jumps the shark" on water skis. McInerney, riding a wakeboard instead of water skis, came off the jump but couldn’t stick the landing, instead splash landing into the water, surrounded by Caribbean reef sharks, which immediately reacted to the erratic splashing and beelined, as the camera captured, toward McInerney and the source of the sound.

One of the sharks takes a quick bite out of McInerney’s hand before retreating, as the crew and medics jumped into action. McInerney was retrieved from the water immediately and brought back to the boat where medics applied a tourniquet before transferring him to a dingy and racing toward shore.

McInerney looks pale and shocked as the medics take him away but still musters up the strength to joke with a producer as he is whisked away, yelling, "Jeff, what the f---? I better get a bonus for this."

The shark severed the tendons and two arteries in McInerney’s hand, though he donned a cast at the end of the show and was said to be healing.

The entire episode has received mixed reactions from fans, with some excited by the typical "Jackass" antics and ability to witness a shark bite in action and others angry with Discovery for allowing such stunts to take place in a series that is billed as a conservation and educational effort to benefit sharks.

McInerney, however, has made it clear that it wasn’t the sharks’ fault.

"I knew there was a chance I was going to get bit by a shark, but I didn’t think it was going to happen," he said. "I don’t blame the sharks at all. I mean, I was in their living room, and it was dinnertime."


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Published on Jul 13, 2021