Shark Attack Survivor Speaks

Kevin Swanson calmly talks through his terrifying encounter

Morro Bay surfer Kevin Swanson, 50, was surfing a quiet beachbreak along nearby Montaña de Oro State Park on December 28th when he was violently attacked by a shark. He was pulled under, then released, with a nasty bite wound on his right hip and leg. Swanson’s army experience was handy—he was trained decades ago in combat lifesaving techniques—and once he paddled to the beach, he tied a tourniquet around his leg with his leash.

Miraculously, there happened to be doctors strolling on the beach where Swanson paddled in, and they immediately set to work trying to stabilize him before paramedics could arrive. “It was pretty incredible," Swanson told the local newspaper, the Tribune. “Within three minutes, five minutes, there were professional doctors there.” Swanson was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital and treated. He plans to surf just as soon as doctors take out his stitches.