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Shark-bite victim: 'Only one option, which was swim'

By Melissa Abbey, CNN
updated 11:05 AM EDT, Sat August 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A shark-bite victim is released from the hospital with 47 stitches and a cast
  • "Well, we're not history," the victim says to his son after the attack
  • The son escaped the incident with no injuries

(CNN) -- A couple hundred yards from shore, J.J. asked his dad what would happen if a shark came along.

"Well, we'd be history," the father said.

Fortunately, he was wrong.

Chris Myers and his teenage son were swimming toward a sandbar 400 to 500 yards off Ballston Beach, Massachusetts. They wanted to body surf where the waves were breaking.

But just after the pair decided to turn around, something bit the man's leg.

"It felt like my leg was caught in a vise," the elder Myers said at a news conference Friday. "The shark decided I wasn't tasty or something good happened and he let me go."

The dark creature then surfaced between the two of them, who were about 6 feet apart, arching its back as if intentionally showing itself to them, he said.

Myers was hurt -- badly enough to warrant 47 stitches -- but the two took off toward the shore.

"There was really only one option, which was swim," Myers said.

J.J. laughed.

"I think seeing a shark is enough to just get you swimming as fast as you can back to the beach," the son said.

The teenager swam with his head out of the water, keeping an eye on his father. He was awed by his father's composure when they reached the shore, he said.

Myers suffered four deep puncture wounds in each leg and a couple of severed tendons in his left ankle, he said. His right leg was wrapped in bandages Friday and his left was in a cast, but he was able to walk from a wheelchair to a seat at the conference.

He was released from the hospital Friday and expects doctors will remove his cast next week.

Sitting down at the start of the conference Myers leaned toward his son, his cheeks dimpled with a smile.

"Can you believe this?" he asked.

Smiles and laughter emanated from the two frequently throughout the conference.

"I felt that however fast I swam it was really up to the shark whether he wanted to get me or not," J.J. said, shrugging. "Because, you know, swim fast or not, the shark's going to be faster."

About his father, J.J. said: "I remember he was sitting on the ground" after getting out of the water "and he said, 'Well, we're not history.'"

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