Californian surfer survives shark attack

Eureka, California – It would have been a perfect day for surfing if it hadn’t been for the shark.

It was Sunday morning when Jay Scrivner, a 45-year-old college English teacher, was in the sea off Eureka in the north of California, when a 2.5-metre-long shark bit his thigh and his surfboard.


“Sometimes you have a feeling that the water is weird,” Scrivner said as he recovered in his room at Eureka’s St. Joseph Hospital. “But everyone was just so happy. I was lying on my board, paddling around just waiting for a wave set.”

Scrivner knew the area well and was fully aware that an attack had already taken place in the same area last year. He says the great white appeared “out of nowhere”.


After the attack, he hit the shark and let out what his friends referred to as a primordial yell. “I couldn’t believe it happened,” Scrivner said. “When I turned away from the shark, I said, ‘Did I really get bit?‘ Your mind doesn’t believe it.”

After checking his own body, encouraged by another surfer, Scrivner paddled to shore, where his friends and other surfers applied pressure and tied a T-shirt around his leg to attempt to stop the bleeding.

Scrivner was still conscious when an ambulance arrived at the scene. Luckily for him, the shark’s bite did not damage the artery in his leg or the tendons. The only damage was to his muscle, which required 30 stitches. He is expected to make a full recovery soon.

Scrivner is convinced that he was saved by his old surfboard, which is much thicker than more modern models. Despite his unpleasant experience, anxiety and nightmares, the teacher declared that he will definitely go back to surf again. 

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