College student Tyler McQuillen had an encounter with a great white shark and managed to keep his cool in a situation that would’ve left most people in a state of panic.
The 22 year old was spearfishing off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, on September 1, when he felt something clamp down on his fin and start thrashing around. He initially thought it must be his friends playing a trick on him, until he got a look at his attacker- a great white shark that was trying to eat his foot.
“When I was hit in the back, I thought it was my friends playing a joke on me,” McQuillen said about the encounter.
Fortunately for Tyler, the shark bite broke two of his toes instead of taking them off.
The shark wasn’t done with him yet. It came back for round two and missed McQuillen by mere inches.
“The second time when he came around when he was coming at me, I definitely thought I was finished right there,” he said.
By the time the shark came back for round three, Tyler made use of his speargun and jammed it into the sharks side, causing it to swim away, giving him time to get away from the dangerous situation.
McQuillen plans to get back out in the water as soon as he’s able because, despite the dangers, because spearfishing is what he loves.