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If there's one thing that will scare the hell out of someone enough to keep them from the ocean, it's shark attacks. After all, why do you think the movie Jaws remains to be one of the scariest flicks of all-time? Because, point blank, it's one of the most realistic things that can happen to a person, and has actually made people choose the beach over the ocean. Let's face it, there aren't too many people fearing a masked man is going to stalk them in their house late at night. But a shark? Oh, yeah, that's a terrifyingly realistic proposition.
And, while there are plenty of scary shark stories out there — from people who, like most of us, would never imagine it'd happen to them — one of the more recent ones is bound to make you think twice before entering the water again. Thankfully, the near victim of the attack was able to walk away... but it wasn't without quite the struggle.
That's the story that 54-year-old surfer Mitch Milan recounted to The Garden Island, a local newspaper in Kauai, one of the islands off of the Hawaii coast where Milan was surfing.
Talking to reporter Nick Celario of The Garden Island, Milan said that, "it's good to be alive," and then recounted the incident. As you might imagine, the story is nightmarish stuff:
“I think any surfer would agree with this. We all wonder if it happens, what would I do? How would I react? If it happened to my friend or another person that I knew, would I go to his help or would I scream and go back to the beach? It surprised me. I acted really level-headed. Not like I would have expected.”
“It was just a mass of energy that went up against me. Like if you get a brand new knife and you accidentally cut yourself, and then it’s like you don’t feel the pain until you see there’s blood,” Milan said. “That was the deal. I didn’t feel this. I have a huge, huge gash on my hand. (It took) 50 stitches to close it. Blood’s everywhere, and I didn’t feel it."
“All of a sudden, I’m in the water and I’m going, ‘Oh, my God. That’s a shark,’” he continued. “I’m backpedalling and trying to get my board back from him because he had it in his mouth. It’s like, ‘What do you do?’”
The surfer isn't sure about what type of species the shark was, although, per The Garden Island piece, he believes it may have been an 8-to-10-foot-long Tiger shark. The damage? Other than a half-eaten board, Mitch Milan sustained a hand injury serious enough that it required 50 stitches!
Milan said he'll be out of the water for a few weeks, but told The Garden Island that he's destined to get back in again, no matter the mental hurdle it's going to take him. He added:
“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be a hard horse to climb,” he said. “They say when you get bucked off, you get back on. I know I’ll get back on a surfboard, but I know it’s going to be hard work.”
And this, right here, is why shark attacks continue to be one of the most feared things a person thinks about before going into the ocean. Mitch Milan's lucky to have returned to shore with just a bloodied hand and nothing worse, because this could have been really, really bad.
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