TAMPA (CBS Tampa) — Talk about having nine lives.
A man who recently survived a shark attack while on vacation in the Bahamas claims to have also been struck by lightning, been bitten by a rattlesnake and also been punched by monkeys.
Erik Norrie tells WTVT-TV that a shark took a chunk out of his lower left leg last month while he was snorkeling and spearfishing off the Abaco Islands.
“After I speared the grouper, I was swimming back toward the boat to put them in the cooler and I was probably in about 5 feet of water. And all of the sudden, I felt this [crunch] on the back of my leg,” Norrie said. “And just as I looked back, he was just finishing his bite and ripping and swimming off, and you could see a piece of my leg in his mouth.”
Norrie believes God saved him from the shark attack.
“I didn’t keep my head cool, the Lord kept my head cool,” Norrie told WTVT. “Because I couldn’t have done it without Him. He sustained me, kept me calm.”
Norrie was taken to a local medical facility before being transported to Jackson Hospital in Miami. He is currently at Tampa General Hospital for skin graft surgery.
“God has a very big purpose for Erik’s life and I believe he wants to do a mighty work through Erik,” Spryng Norrie, Erik’s wife, told WTVT. “I’m just amazed, in his strength. He’s so strong. And he’s been so brave and just wonderful. I’m really glad to have him.”
The chances of getting attacked by a shark are remote. Only 1 in 11.5 million people will be attacked by sharks. According to National Geographic, the odds of getting struck by lightning is 1 in 700,000 while the Department of Wildlife, Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida say that fewer than 1 in 37,500 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. each year.