A man who was bitten on the leg and dragged underwater by a great white shark on Saturday has called his rescue a "Christmas miracle". 37-year-old Adam Coons had been surfing near Santa Rosa Island in California when the attack took place. Mr Coons was airlifted to safety by a US Coast Guard helicopter.
According to the US Coast Guard, at around 3.15 in the afternoon, a Good Samaritan notified watchstanders of the shark attack on the surfer.
"It felt like I just got blasted by a torpedo," he said to ABC News. "I didn't feel the bite from the adrenaline and then I was immediately [submerged] underwater getting thrashed."
Mr Coons' friend Jeremy Howard, who witnessed the attack, said that he was dragged out in the water for about five feet.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted Mr Coons after the attack. He was flown to paramedics at the Santa Barbara Airport, and then transported to a local hospital. A video of the rescue was shared by the US Coast Guard Los Angeles on Twitter:
Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco FOB Mugu medevacs shark bite victim to saftey and transports him to Santa Barbara Airport where EMTs awaited. pic.twitter.com/zyDewiQWpU— USCG Los Angeles (@USCGLosAngeles) December 22, 2019
"This was truly a terrifying and horrific situation, and I am so happy and grateful to be alive," Mr Coons told ABC News.
"I don't know why it's me and my family that get to stay together, while others have lost so much, and why I am keeping my legs and why I will have full recovery, except to hopefully inspire others to not give up on their passions and for families to hear the story of a Christmas miracle and to come together during the holidays no matter what might have been otherwise standing between them," he said while thanking the first responders and his rescuers.Click for more trending news