Watch: Pro triathlete attacked by seal while training for Super League

Portuguese triathlete Vasco Vilica was bitten by a seal while training for this weekend's Super League Triathlon race and it was all caught on camera...

Pro triathlete bitten by seal

Up until this week pro triathlete Vasco Vilica would probably have said that Vincent Luis or Henri Schoeman is his biggest threat in the water. That was, until he was accosted and bitten by a seal.


The Portuguese athlete, who finished second in Munich last weekend, was training in at Zuma Beach Malibu ahead of the next Super League race when the incident unfolded.

The inquisitive seal bit Vilica’s arm and, despite the athlete’s attempt to get it off, wouldn’t let go.

“I was just swimming in the ocean and was unlucky enough to swim towards where a seal was,” Vilaca said. “It started swimming towards me and got very close and it felt like a dog smelling me.

“I tried to just slowly, without doing anything aggressive, push it away and at a certain point there was a strong wave that pushed it against me. Then I pushed it more aggressively away because it was on me and then it got scared and bit my arm and wouldn’t let go.

“I tried to grab the teeth from under and open the mouth and get it away and wanted to swim away but I didn’t know what to do with the seal because I thought if I let go it would bite me again.”

Eventually a large wave dislodged the seal and Vilica was able to swim back to dry land. Once there, he was attended by lifeguards and then transferred to a medical facility for further checks.

As he was wearing a wetsuit, only one of the seal’s teeth broke through and punctured the skin, but he also got a few cuts on his hands from trying to grab the animal’s teeth and mouth to release his arm.


Fortunately, his wounds aren’t too severe and he’s been given the all clear to race at the weekend.

Watch: Seal bites Vasco Vilica in Malibu