EUREKA, Calif. (AP) — It was a perfect day for surfing. Except for the shark.
Jay Scrivner, a 45-year-old college English teacher, was waiting for waves off the Northern California coast near his hometown of Eureka on Sunday morning after surfing for about two hours when a great white he estimated at about 8-to-9 feet long bit his thigh and board.
"Sometimes you have a feeling that the water is weird," Scrivner told The Associated Press in a phone interview from his room at Eureka's St. Joseph Hospital on Monday afternoon. "But everyone was just so happy. I was lying on my board, paddling around just waiting for a wave set."
Scrivner regularly surfs at the spot near Humboldt Bay known as the Samoa Peninsula. He was aware that another surfer, Scott Stephens, survived a shark attack in the same area last year.
Scriver said that "out of nowhere" he saw the shark's teeth and nose. After he was bitten, he took a swing at the great white and let out what a friend nearby described as a primordial yell.
"I couldn't believe it happened," Scrivner said. "When I turned away from the shark, I said, 'Did I really get bit?' Your mind doesn't believe it."
Scrivner said he did a quick inventory of his body parts and found everything was intact. A friend encouraged him to keep paddling toward the beach.
Once there, friends and fellow surfers applied pressure on the wound and tied a T-shirt to stop the bleeding.