Associated Press Writer
HONOLULU (AP) — All the way back to shore after an eight-foot tiger shark chomped into his left leg, Harvey Miller thought he might die.
“I just remember saying, ‘Oh God, not like this, no way,”’ Miller said Friday, the afternoon after the gray fish attacked him off Oahu’s Bellows Beach.
Miller, a 36-year-old attorney from Toledo, Ohio, was snorkeling and looking for turtles about 150 yards from shore when he noticed the fish near him looked spooked.
Then he saw a large shark’s flat snout and felt the animal spin him around.
Speaking to reporters at Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where he was taken after the attack, Miller said he punched the animal twice right below its dorsal fin, scaring it away.
Then Miller started screaming and yelling for help and headed for shore.
A day later, he was sitting in a hospital wheelchair, tired and nauseous from the pain medicine but grateful for his doctor’s estimate that he should be walking in a few months and playing basketball in a half-year to a year.
“I’m happy — one, to be alive and two, that I don’t anticipate … losing the leg,” he said.
Miller still took care, despite his fatigue, to thank all those who saved him, including his doctors, the rescue crews, and the stranger named Ray who waded into the ocean to answer his cries for help.
“He’s my hero. I would not have made it out of the water without his assistance. I owe my life to that man,” Miller said.
Shark attack survivor thought he was going to die