A Florida college student recalled the harrowing moment he saw his foot in a shark’s mouth and was dragged underwater – before his friend and fellow surfer rescued him.
Chris Pospisil, 21, a student at the University of Central Florida, and his friend Reece Redish were surfing at New Smyrna Beach about 3pm Friday (local time) and were about to head to shore when the predator attacked, the New York Post reported.
“The shark came from under me on my board and tipped me backwards off my board, and I was falling backwards. I saw my foot in his mouth, and it dragged me under,” Pospisil told Fox 35 Orlando.
Redish said he heard splashing and noticed his pal underwater, WKMG reported.
“He pops up screaming, “I got bit!” he said.
Pospisil said when he resurfaced, “Reece was already there, already on top of me, got me by my shirt, and pulled me on the board.”
“I’m not going to leave my friend in the water. I’m willing to put myself at risk to help out anyone,” Redish told Fox 35.
Pospisil underwent emergency surgery for a gruesome injury to repair seven ripped tendons after pieces of the shark’s tooth were found embedded in his bones, according to a GoFundMe page.
The news outlet reported that he has since been released from the hospital but faces a long road to recovery, with up to six months of physical therapy.
“The top of my foot is going to be numb in some areas for the rest of my life, and my foot might be stiff because they had to repair all seven tendons,” Pospisil said.
“Reece really made the difference. You know, if he wasn’t there, I think it could have been way worse, and I think I definitely wouldn’t have gotten to the shore in time and probably would have passed out in the water,” he added.
The friends said they plan to return to the water as soon as possible.
“I think I can do it. I know I can. When Chris is better, I’ll be surfing with him every day,” Redish told Fox 35.
“It hasn’t changed anything. I’m definitely going to keep surfing. It’s my lifestyle, and it’s something I love to do,” added Pospisil, a member of UCF’s surf team.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission