A 19-year-old Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student was attacked by a shark while surfing on California’s Central Coast.
Nick Wapner, a communications major, was bitten about 10 a.m. Tuesday in the waters off Montaña de Oro State Park, the Associated Press reported. Wapner said the shark was a great white that he estimated was 15 feet long.
Wapner told the San Luis Obispo Tribune the shark didn’t even make a splash when it bit down on his right ankle, then up to his left thigh.
“It all happened quickly, but I turned and saw that it had one of my legs in its mouth,” Wapner said.
Wapner quickly freed himself by kicking the shark, which spun and swam away. His friends drove him to a hospital, where he received 50 stitches, the AP reported.
Robert Colligan, a park ranger supervisor for the park, told the Tribune that it’s likely the attack was an “exploratory bite, as sharks will sometimes do.”
“The shark might have bitten, then realized it wasn’t what it was looking for and let go,” Colligan said.
Wapner was surfing with friends at the time, but they were on the shore when the shark grabbed him.
“I just got attacked by a shark!” Wapner shouted at them as he paddled back from the beach, his foot bleeding.
Warning signs have been posted on beaches in the area warning of the attack.