A man who was attacked by a great white shark off a Southern California beach is describing how quickly a routine swim turned into a bloody nightmare.
Steven Robles, a long distance swimmer who frequents the waters, was with a group of 14 swimmers when a 7-foot-long juvenile shark attacked him off Manhattan Beach near Los Angeles.
“The shark came right up to me, bit right into my torso area. He penetrated the first layer of my skin and into my fat tissue,” Robles said. “And somehow I had enough sense to grab his nose with my right hand and pry him off my body.”
Robles was taken to shore and by Sunday morning had been released from the hospital. He showed his wounds to a CBS reporter Sunday.
Witnesses said the shark had been hooked by a fisherman on a nearby pier and was thrashing in the water for more than 30 minutes before biting Robles about 300 yards off shore.
Video obtained by CBS shows the shark near swimmers while people on a dock can be heard laughing before they realize someone was hurt.
The bystanders later call for other swimmers to get out of the water. People can be heard yelling, whistling and screaming in the background.
The raw video appears below.
Officials said it was unusual for a great white shark to have been swimming so close to shore.
There were reports that the shark was lured by chum, which is a combination of blood and raw meat or fish parts. The fisherman denies the claim.
“For what we fish for, there’s no need to chum,” the fisherman said. “The fish are already there, they’re not attracted to blood.”
Police say the fisherman didn't do anything illegal, however, fishing from the pier has been stopped until July 8.
Robles had this to say about the situation, “It was a horrible decision that this fisherman made, thinking he was going to go catch a shark and drew all that attention. He had that shark on his fishing pole for 40 minutes, from what I hear, and by the time he cut that line loose I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. The shark was agitated and I was the first thing it saw.”
“I’m very lucky to be here. I’m very thankful God was on my side, protecting me. I truly believe God was my savior today,” he said.
Robles said he wants to meet the paddleboarder and the other strangers who helped pull him to shore.