Swimmer Attacked by Great White Shark Fights for His Life

Of all the freak things you think could never happen to you, I bet getting bitten by a great white shark is way up there on the list. Even though shark sightings are on the rise, there have only been 101 actual attacks and 13 shark bite deaths since 1950 -- horrific, yes, but the odds are in your favor that it won't happen to you.

But that's probably exactly what long-distance swimmer Steve Robles was thinking when he set off for a two-mile swim at Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles on Saturday morning. The real estate agent says it only took seconds for the giant to attack him and that he had to fight for his life.


Imagine this: Robles says he was swimming with friends when, out of nowhere, the great white came out from the bottom of the water and looked at him. LOOKED AT HIM. I would die right then and there. Next thing he knew, Robles says the shark lunged and locked into the right side of his chest.

If you've ever wondered what it must feel like to be bitten by a shark, wonder no more: Robles described it as a "burning pain." Which sounds like an understatement to me.

Anyway, in order to save his own life, Robles says he grabbed the shark by the nose and forced its mouth open. For whatever reason, the shark then decided to make a swim for it and broke free from the fisherman's line that it was reportedly caught in. Surfers and paddleboarders carried Robles back to the shore on a paddleboard, and one surfer claims he and his friends tried to get the lifeguards' attention, but that they didn't see what was happening in the ocean. Which is a reminder to all of us to be extremely careful on the beach and act as our own lifeguards at all times.

Robles is reportedly in stable condition.

Crazy -- but even crazier is how this happened. Apparently, the shark wasn't out to eat the man, like some of us who watch too many movies might suspect (I admit, I was guilty of thinking this). A fisherman reportedly spotted the great white and tried to hook it onto its fishing line -- even though it's illegal to capture great white sharks. It is thought that the shark got scared and, while thrashing about, took a bite into the man.

This story could have had a truly horrific ending, and it's great to hear Robles is doing well and recovering. Be careful out there, guys!

What precautions do you take while swimming?


Image via Travelbag Ltd/Flickr

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