KAUAI, Hawaii (CBS Tampa) – A surfer testing out a new board survived a shark attack after punching the shark in the eye.
According to CBS News, Jeff Horton was at one of his favorite surfing spots off the north shore of the island Sunday on a brand new board he received as a gift from a friend the week before.
“My friend had just given me this board about a week ago,” Horton explained to CBS News. “This is probably the first day I road it and I thought it would be good luck going out with this board.”
About 200 yards off shore, the 25-year-old had been in the water for three hours when big trouble approached. He believes a tiger shark anywhere from eight to 10 feet in size approached along side his board while he was sitting on it.
“All of a sudden I kind of look down and I’m looking around and I see this big dark thing coming up on my left side,” the surfer explained. “Like coming up and I’m like whoa whoa whoa. It just kind of made me jump out of the water. I kind of lifted my leg out with the board and it still chomped on to it.”
Horton ended up on the shark’s back trying to fight for his life.
“I just had my arm on its skin kind of and like had my leg around it too a little bit too,” Horton said. “I was just kinda like yeah, i was riding a shark. I just knew the only thing is fight or flight. Like I didn’t want to die so I just gave everything I had and just started punching the shark as much as I could.”
Horton jammed a knuckle in the shark’s eye causing it to spit out his surf board and retreat. He then paddled back to shore as quickly as possible, unharmed by the shark.
“It felt like this shark was the strongest thing I’d ever touched,” Horton recounted. “It was hard as a brick and it’s skin was like leather.”
Horton plans to hang the surf board on a wall as a memento. The near death encounter isn’t scarring him away from the waves. He hit the water the very next day.
Multiple parts of Florida are considered to be some of the most dangerous places on Earth in regards to the potential for shark attacks, according to Discovery.com.
“Florida has so many attacks that it warrants two spots on this list,” the site notes on a compiled list on the subject that includes both Brevard and Volusia Counties.