Surfer escapes shark attack by punching it in the head

Ceri Roberts
Surfer escapes shark attack by punching it in the head
Surfer escapes shark attack by punching it in the head


A US surfer managed to escape a great white shark by punching it on the side of the head.

Scott Stephens, 24, was padding on his board off the coast of Eureka, California, when the four-foot shark grabbed him and pulled him under water.

Sky News reports that he believed the shark to be an immature great white. Although he was left with eight deep lacerations, he managed to fight off the shark, get back on his board and return to shore.

Other surfers came to his aid when they heard him screaming for help, and he was taken to St Joseph Hospital. Doctors said that he was probably saved by his surfboard, which took the brunt of the bite, preventing the shark's teeth from penetrating organs that would have made surgery more complicated.

He told local news service Times-Standard: "The shark came from underneath me, grabbed onto my side, shook me a few times and pulled me under water.

"I opened my eyes underwater and punched the shark on the side of the head a couple of times until it released me. I saw a lot of blood."

He added: "I really didn't feel much at the time probably because I was in shock. I didn't feel too much pain until I woke up this morning."

But despite his ordeal, Mr Stephens said he will be getting back in the water as soon as he has recovered.

He said: "I will be very scared, I'm sure. I'll definitely have some mental barriers to get through. I think it'll be worth it."

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