It’s the first thing they tell you – if you’re being attacked, punch the shark in the nose or gills. But during the unpredictable disorder of an attack, are you actually going to heed those instructions? Will you accurately be able to fend for your life while all hell’s breaking loose? Probably not.
One man in Oregon was able to do just that and more when he was mauled by a shark while surfing Indian Beach in Ecola State Park. Joseph Tanner, 29, of Portland was bitten around 4 pm Monday. He was able to punch the shark in the gills, forcing the predator the release its grip on his thigh. And once on the safety of the shore, Tanner – a trauma nurse – instructed bystanders on emergency response protocol until paramedics arrived.
When the ambulance arrived, Tanner was propped up on his surfboard with a makeshift tourniquet tied above the wound. He was then airlifted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, where he is still recovering from deep wounds. Thanks to his heroic efforts, Tanner is expected to bypass the amputation of his leg. “I’m as taken aback as you are,” Tanner’s brother, Noah Beck, told KGW8. “It’s pretty nutty. We’re all banding together and just doing our thing. We’re all a little shaken up.”
According to the Shark Attack Database, there have been 27 unprovoked shark attacks in Oregon since 1974. The last recorded incident at Indian Beach was in October of 1988, involving a 21-year-old surfer who was bitten similarly on his thigh – he, too, survived the attack. But Tanner’s efforts during and after the attack were nothing short of heroic. With the continual shark scare floating throughout the surf world, it’s guys like Tanner (and Mick Fanning) to look to if that unfortunate situation ever arises.
original article here