Surfer survives Great White shark attack in CA
EUREKA, C.A. (NBC) -- 25-year-old Scott Stephens is lucky to be alive. He was attacked what experts said is likely a juvenile great white shark off the north jetty of Humboldt Bay.
And he's showing off his battle wounds…with the doctors who helped keep him together.
"There was a lot of luck involved for him and the fact that he did not enter in the chest cavity or abdominal cavity,” said Stephens surgeon, Dr. John Van Speybroeck.
Luck that started on the jetty, with a bite that could have been much worse.
"They almost look like scalpel lacerations," said Dr. Speybroeck.
He said the animal grabbed him and pulled him under.
"You know, it came out of nowhere. It pinned me under and kinda shook me," said Stephens.
Then Stephens started to fight back.
"I opened my eyes under water and punched the shark in the side of the head a couple times until it released me,” said Stephens.
He was able to start paddling in on a wave- then heroics by some fellow surfers. Blake Barr helped hold Stephens bite together.
"Me and one other guy that happened to be an EMT hopped on top of him, basically used our body weight to hold everything in and make sure he wasn't bleeding too bad,” said Blake Barr, a surfer who had been on the beach when Stephens was attacked.
"I would not have thought of lying on someone like that. That's a great information for me for the future," said Dr. Speybroeck.
Doctors said the help he had before the hospital helped make their job easier.
Despite what’s happened Stephens thanks doctors and surfers.
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."
And he says he won't let this close call keep him from his passion for surfing.
"I'm gonna need a new surfboard and a new wetsuit, so...that's the only thing keeping me out of the water,” said Stephens.