"I punched this thing. But it was such a measly punch compared to how big this creature was."
Six days ago, surfer Eric Steinley was hit by a ten-foot White while surfing at Salmon Creek near Bodega Bay, San Francisco sorta way.
His buddy Jared Davis helped Steinley, who is thirty-eight, to the beach parking lot where another surfer, who happened to be a doc, used a tourniquet he kept in his car to stop the bleeding.
Chopper came and flew him to Santa Rosa Memorial hospital.
“I was out with five guys — we heard a couple people yell shark about 50 feet away,” one surfer named Cody told KPIX. “It was by the mouth of the river. The sharks come there to get salmon…Next thing I heard the dude screaming. I knew he got bit.”
Steinley says he felt the White clamp onto his leg three times before dragging him underwater.
“I was in a lot of pain and still thinking I’m going to lose my leg or die. I just felt this heavy thing pull on me and it was like a clamp right around my leg. And we went underwater together and it was slow motion,” Steinley told ABC’s Good Morning America. “I punched this thing. And I mean, you can see just from grazing its teeth. I cut my hand. But it was such a measly punch compared to how big this creature was.”
And, then, five minutes paddle from shore, Steinley figured he was done.
“I started to see spots and then I know, you know, [thought] I’m definitely I’m not going to make it. And I catch up to Jared and he paddles next to me… He goes, ‘You going to make it, don’t look at your leg, let’s just keep going.’ And then we paddled in together until a wave came, and then I gave it my all… All of the surfers that were with me out in the water came out altogether and grabbed this big, long board and put me on that long board… (they) held me on the board, kept up the board and carried me all the way up the steps, saving time for when the ambulance got there.”
Steinley says the attack hasn’t spooked him enough to keep him out of the drink, although he doubts surfing will have the same meditative effect it once had.
“Surfing is such a big part of my life and it really calms me down,” he told the Press Democrat. “But I just don’t know if I’ll get that feeling anymore sitting out there.”