A surfer who put his fingers into the mouth of a shark to pry himself free during an attack believes the fish took no further interest in him because it didn't like the taste of his leg.
Todd Murashige, 40, spoke with reporters at The Queen's Medical Center on Thursday, two days after he was attacked in waters off Oahu.
Murashige said he was sitting on his board relaxing and didn't see the shark before it bit him on his right thigh.
"I didn't see it at all. It just seemed so surreal, like it wasn't real, just head of a shark right there in my lap," he said.
"I stuck my fingers into his mouth to try to pry him off, but I didn't feel any teeth. I think I was grabbing onto his gums or the lip part," he said.
Murashige said the shark didn't pursue him, and thinks it was a test bite, "because he never came back to me, and really aggressively never really bit me and shook me. He just took a test bite and it wasn't too good tasting."
After freeing himself, Murashige managed to get back to shore on his board, which was missing a piece from the bite, by paddling and catching a wave. He also had the help of a fellow surfer.
Once on solid ground, a towel was used to tie off the wounded thigh and a call was placed to 911.
"While I was lying on the shore, I thought I was going to black out," Murashige said. "I told myself if I black out, I'm going to die. That's what I really felt in my gut, so I called my wife and I called my mom."
Since he didn't see the shark's body, Murashige said he didn't know what kind it was or how big it was. But based on the size of its head - Murashige raised his hands about the width of his shoulders - he suspects it was a tiger shark.
Dr. Kevin Christensen said Murashige lost a lot of blood, with the wound going almost all around the thigh, but there were no broken bones and his prognosis is good.
"I anticipate he'll walk again," Christensen said.
But will Murashige surf again?
"I want to get back to walking first and maybe go from there," he said.
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