A SAVAGED surfer countered by punching a 10-foot great white shark in the face as the animal pulled it underwater and tried to rip off its leg.
Eric Stanley, 38, was surfing at Salmon Creek Beach in California last Sunday when a giant sea creature pulled him off his surfboard.
The 38-year-old described the horrific attack and how he punched both his leg and the animal in the face to escape from his life.
He told ABC’s Good Morning America: “I was in a lot of pain and still thinking I was either going to lose my leg or die.
“I felt this heavy thing pulling on me and it was like a clamp around my leg. And we went underwater together and it was slow.”
Stanley was finally able to free himself after punching the beast in the face.
“Compared to how big this creature was, it was like a measles punch,” he said.
His friend, Jared Davis, and other surfers on the beach rush to help him after hearing him shout “shark”.
With the help of his friend, he was able to shore up “stroke for stroke,” in five minutes that “seems to age,” he told The press democrat.
“He was saying shark, he was saying help. It looked like he had a red stripe on his WhatsApp,” Davis said.
Stanley said: “He goes: ‘You’re going to make it. Don’t look, don’t look at your foot. Let’s just keep going,’ and then we paddle together, and then a wave came and I given it’s all mine.”
Surfers reached for help
Thankfully, a dozen surfers on shore were able to create a makeshift tourniquet using the strap of his board to stop the bleeding from Stanley’s leg.
They even managed to carry him up the stairs until the paramedics arrived.
Luckily one of those people on the beach was a doctor who had a medical kit in his car, NBC informed of.
“The tourniquet was important. It made the difference between a life-threatening injury and a stable patient,” Bodega Bay Fire Protection Division Captain David Bynum told NBC News.
“She’s lucky. She got a lot of help from the start.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said the attack was from a great white shark at least 10 feet long, based on DNA from Stanley’s surfboard and bite radius.
Stanley was taken to a Santa Rosa hospital while officers temporarily closed beaches within two miles of the attack.
He will take at least a year to recover after two surgeries, according to the Press Democrats, although he said he hoped to re-emerge.
“I still want to be part of the lifestyle. I’m so grateful that everyone was there. Still in disbelief that I’m alive because of it.”
A group of surfers have founded a gofundme Page to help cover medical costs, which have already exceeded $34,000.