A snorkeler nearly lost his toes when he was attacked by a shark off the Galapagos Islands but escaped after repeatedly punching the terrifying ocean predator.
Andrew Newman, a 45-year-old British advertising manager suffered severed ligaments and a broken bone when the 13-foot shark sank its jaws into his right foot, SWNS reports. Newman was snorkeling off the Galapagos Island of Santa Fe on Saturday afternoon when the shark attacked.
“I have a long term fear of sharks and water, after I had watched ‘Jaws ‘and ‘The Beach’ when he punches the shark I had recalled it in my head because I was so fearful,” he said, from the Galapagos.
The holidaymaker was coming to the end of his vacation on the famous islands when the horrific attack happened.
"We saw small sharks on the bottom and lots of sea lion pups and a turtle, all 16 of us got into two dinghies and our leader said 'this is your last activity of the whole holiday,' so we went back to the start to film more sea lion pups; but when we got there, the dad was barking away like an alarm, so I don't know if he had seen the shark,” he said.
"Within a minute of being in the water as I swam to the rocks there was this clamp-like vice around my foot.
I immediately thought it was a friend having a joke because I had spent a lot of time grabbing other people's feet as a joke and I thought they were getting me back," he said.
When he looked back, the shark’s eyes were about three feet away from him.
"That was when I turned around and my foot was in the shark's mouth, his eyes were no more than a meter away from me - this massive shark head with white eyes, we were just staring at each other with my whole foot in its mouth, he wouldn't let go,” Newman explained.
"It was a thought of utter fear but then my reactions came to, which was to punch the living daylights out of it, I must have punched it about four or five times, then it let go,” he added.
"Half my foot looked like it was hanging off, I didn't feel any pain when I saw my bones and tendons, I could just see the blood pumping.
When I close my eyes all I can see is the shark's white eye and my foot in his mouth."
A fellow swimmer dragged Newman onto some nearby rocks. He then had to endure a three-hour journey to the nearest hospital, combating excruciating pain with a mix of tequila shots and a mojito.
"During the whole journey I feared for my life, I did not know whether I would be able to keep some of my toes and I did not know if I was facing amputation,” he said.
At the hospital, Newman watched doctors stitch his tendons back together and his leg is now in plaster cast to reset a broken bone in his foot. He received 12 stitches in his foot and will likely require surgery after his arrival in the U.K. on Wednesday.
Newman, the CEO of digital advertising agency DOOH.com, travelled to the Galapagos Islands to "find my faith in life again through nature" after the sudden death of his husband Damon in 2016.
Other shark attacks have made headlines recently. A surfer in Hawaii was left with a large gash in her leg after she was attacked by a shark on New Year’s Eve.