This article describes the autopsy findings of a victim of a shark attack that took place off the coast of Pernambuco, Brazil. The victim was rescued and immediately taken to a nearby hospital but did not survive, even though the lapse of time between the attack and verification of death did not exceed 15 minutes. The presence of a single, large, contused and incised, semiarched wound with a serrated aspect was decisive in elucidating the event. Thus, this study discusses aspects related to the aggressor species, to the autopsy, to the type of wound, and to the causes that have led to a significant increase in this type of event in the area. It was concluded that the lesion was produced while the victim was still alive and that it was the cause of death.