A college student out spearfishing with friends off the California coast almost became lunch for a great white shark, but managed to escape the attack with only two bitten toes, and an incredible video of the ordeal.
Tyler McQuillen, 22, had his GoPro camera attached to his speargun, and was fishing with friends at Refugio Point near Santa Barbara on the morning of September 1, when the huge shark mistook him for a meal.
He said he first thought his friends were playing a trick on him by pulling on his fin. He lost hold of his speargun for a moment, but was able to grab it just in time to jab the shark when it circled back for more, scaring it away. He was in water only about 10 feet deep when it happened.
Quickly swimming back to shore, he was fortunate to only have two broken toes and a gash on his right foot.
“I got that on video. Wooo, f—ing gnarly,” McQuillen said afterward.
Authorities closed access to the water in that area for 24 hours after the incident.
The Shark Research Committee estimated the shark to be up to 10 feet (3 meters) in length. McQuillen believes it was about 12 feet (3.6 meters) long.
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