(NEW YORK) — Kevin Swanson was surfing off the coast of Central California Sunday when out of nowhere a 10-feet juvenile shark attacked him, sinking its teeth into Swanson’s right hip and dragging him underwater.
“I was down there for, I don’t know, maybe two to three seconds,” Swanson told ABC News. “He was attached to my leg.”
“I could see him latching on and just holding on,” he said.
As he resurfaced, Swanson, a 50-year-old father of three, began shouting “shark” to warn others on the beach. He then began to rescue himself, paddling to get back to the shore.
“I just started paddling as hard as I possibly could to get to the shore,” Swanson said. “I grabbed my leash and tied it as a tourniquet around my leg.”
When Swanson arrived on shore, he was met by rescue authorities who had been called to the scene by someone on shore. Swanson was then airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Swanson was released from the hospital Monday and is now recovering at home. He credits his surfboard, along with his own ability to stay calm, with saving his life.
“This foam didn’t allow the teeth to go all the way through and keep on cutting through my leg,” Swanson said, holding his surfboard.
The fact that Swanson survived means the lifelong surfer is going to keep on doing what he loves.
“I’ve been doing it since I was 8-years-old and plan on doing it for a long time,” he said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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