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I was chewed up and spit out by a great white shark

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He narrowly escaped the jaws of death.

A California shark attack survivor is making waves after relaying the harrowing saga of how he was bitten by a great white shark — and lived to tell the tale.

“Really unlucky that the shark bit me,” Steve Bruemmer, 62, described in a Wednesday video released by the Natividad Medical Center, KSBW reported. The incident occurred on June 22 while the avid waterman was swimming off Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, near Monterey.

The Monterey native, who was recently discharged from the hospital, recounted the fateful encounter.

“It was such a beautiful day, there was no wind, the ocean was flat, there were no waves, it was so calm,” recalled Bruemmer from his hospital bed, describing the moments leading up to the attack.

“It was such a beautiful day, there was no wind, the ocean was flat, there were no waves, it was so calm,” recalled Bruemmer from his hospital bed, describing the moments leading up to the attack.
Natividad Medical Center

Shortly thereafter, the shark struck. “I was about 150 yards from the beach when wham!” the retired college professor recounted. “I don’t even know exactly what happened, but it was just it…was just well…turns out it was bit ferociously by a shark right across my thighs and my abdomen.”

The aghast fellow described, “It grabbed me and pulled me up and then dove me down in the water and then, of course, it spit me out.”

The survivor suspected that the shark had mistaken him for a seal, but then relinquished its grip after realizing he was not “food.”

Unfortunately, Jaws appeared to mull making a second pass.

The incident occurred on June 22 while Bruemmer was swimming off Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, near Monterey.
The incident occurred on June 22 while Bruemmer was swimming off Lovers Point Beach in Pacific Grove, near Monterey.
CBS News

“It was looking at me, right next to me,” Bruemmer explained. “I thought it could bite me again so I pushed it with my hand and I kicked at it with my foot and it left.”

At that moment, the imperiled swimmer and triathlete called for help, whereupon three samaritans — two paddleboarders and a surfer — rushed to his aid. The rescuers then used a surfboard to ferry Bruemmer to shore like a makeshift gurney.

“The three of them in the bloody water got me up onto the surfboard and pulled me into the beach,” the grateful fellow said while describing the heroic trio. “How do you get into the bloody water, with maybe a shark circling beneath you to save a stranger? They’re amazing.”

Bruemmer was subsequently rushed to the Natividad Medical Center in Salinas, where he underwent emergency surgery and received 28 units of blood. Experts deemed the beach-goer extremely lucky as the shark came within a millimeter of severing a major artery.

Lover's Point Beach was temporarily shuttered following the attack.
Lovers Point Beach was temporarily shuttered following the attack.
CBS News
Bruemmer later thanked all the heroes involved in saving his life. "I'm going home now," said the emotional survivor. "I want to thank Natividad, and the Good Samaritans, and the people on the beach, and that lead-footed ambulance driver. Without all of you, I don't make it. And oh the blood donors -- thank you so much. I'm going home. I'm gonna recover and I'm gonna be OK — thanks to you all."
Bruemmer later thanked all the heroes involved in saving his life. “I’m going home now,” said the emotional survivor.
Natividad Medical Center

“It could’ve been much, much worse — he could’ve not made it out of the water,” Nicholas Rottler, a trauma surgeon at the medical center, told KSBW-TV.

Bruemmer later thanked all the heroes involved in saving his life.

“I’m going home now,” said the emotional survivor. “I want to thank Natividad, and the Good Samaritans, and the people on the beach and that lead-footed ambulance driver.”

He added, “Without all of you, I don’t make it. And oh the blood donors — thank you so much. I’m going home. I’m gonna recover and I’m gonna be OK — thanks to you all.”

Bruemmer received a standing ovation upon his release from the hospital
Bruemmer received a standing ovation upon his release from the hospital.
Natividad Medical Center
Bruemmer was rescued by two paddleboarders and a surfer, who loaded him onto a board and ferried him to the beach.
Bruemmer was rescued by two paddleboarders and a surfer, who loaded him onto a board and ferried him to the beach.
CBS News

The clip concludes with the ex-educator getting released from the hospital in a wheelchair as the facility’s staff applaud his successful recovery.

The ordeal comes amid a rash of shark attacks across the US this month. Yesterday, Long Island’s Smith Point Beach was shuttered after a 41-year-old surfer was bitten on the leg by what he believed was a sand tiger shark.

This marked the beach’s second closure this month, following an instance two weeks ago after an attack involving a Long Island lifeguard. Meanwhile, a Florida teen had to have her leg amputated after a 9-foot shark attacked her while she was scalloping near Tallahassee last month.

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