Poor Steven Robles was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Robles is a long-distance swimmer who was enjoying himself near Manhattan Beach, California when he encountered a shark. Unbeknownst to Robles, the seven-foot shark had been hooked by a fisherman at the nearby pier, had just been cut loose from the line and was still fighting. It was in no mood to be nice.
“He was trying to get off the line,” Captain Tracy Lizotte, a Los Angeles County lifeguard said. “He was agitated and was probably biting everything in his way and then the swimmer swam right into the shark’s line.”
“We saw each other. It did a sharp left turn and then it lunged right at me, didn’t even hesitate,” Robles said. “I could feel the vibration of this entire shark gnawing into my skin. You could feel the whole body shaking as it’s digging into my torso.”
Robles knew that what he did next could make the difference between life and death for him. He acted quickly, grabbing the shark by the nose and trying to pry it off him.
“My life was just a half a second from ending, and I had to fight for my life,” he said.
The shark wasn’t up for the fight and left on its own. But Robles had no idea the extent of the damage to his body.
“I really thought that that might be it. I thought I might be dying,” he said.
Robles’ screams drew the attention of other swimmers who came to his aid. But they were also aware that the shark was still in the area. He was rushed to an area hospital, and is expected to recover.
“The bite mark’s like a jellyfish sting that just keeps penetrating deeper and deeper into the bone,” Robles said. “It was terrifying.”
Robles said he was planning another long-distance swim, but now is not sure he will ever go back in the ocean.
“I’ve swum in that water my whole life … sharks are not interested in people,” he said. “This stuff just doesn’t happen.”
The entire incident was caught on video.
Image via YouTube