Steven Robles, a realtor and long-distance swimmer, was on a multiple-mile swim on Saturday June 5 when he swam into the path of a great white shark. He and a dozen swimming partners were only a few hundred miles from the shore of Manhattan Beach, California, when the shark grabbed him by the chest.
You can watch the whole event, which was caught on a cell phone camera, above.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was On a 2-Mile Swim When the Great White Shark Attacked
— Carley Dryden (@carleydryden) July 6, 2014
Robles was on a training swim at 9:30 a.m. Pacific time when he saw a shark lunge toward him. According to the Los Angeles Times, a 7-foot juvenile great white shark raked its teeth against Robles’ rib cage.
Speaking to CNN, Robles said: “I saw it come real close to me and then it turned and lunged right at my chest. I was in complete panic. I felt the shark biting into me and I thought this is it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die.”
2. He Pushed the Shark Away By Its Nose
In the interview with with Robles above, you can see his wounds and hear how his quick action saved his life. Robles recounts how instinctively he punched and pushed the shark away by its nose. Although Robles’ move saved his life, it was contrary to the traditional tactic of going for the shark’s eyes.
3. The Shark Was Hooked & Released By Fisherman Who Laughed
The great white was uncharacteristically close to shore because earlier that hour fisherman had hooked the juvenile great white. The group struggled with it for over 45 minutes before finally letting it loose. After they did, the watched, and laughed, as the dangerous predator made its way through the pack of swimmers.
The group even laughed after Robles, bleeding from his side, began screaming. The laughter momentarily stops when they realize Robles may have been bitten. You can hear in the video, “Oh sh*t, he was bit,” to which someone responds, “He didn’t get bit, he sh*t his pants right now.”
4. Several Recent Videos Have Captured Sharks in That Location
Over the past few months, a number of videos have emerged on Youtube, including the one above, of juvenile great white sharks swimming beneath paddle boards a few hundred yards from shore.
5. The Great White Population in the United States is Skyrocketing
In January 2014, Time reported that the great white shark population off the coast of California may have recently surpassed 2,00 — 10 times what earlier research had suggested.