A South Carolina surfer has revealed the horrific facial scars he received this week when a shark bit him in waters off the coast of Florida – and recalled the terrifying “crunch” as it sounded “like a Bear Trap” crunched into his face.
“It was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve been in bad car accidents. “Nothing like that,” Mark Sumersett, 38, WESH said of the encounter that occurred as he stepped off his surfboard in the waters off New Smyrna Beach just before 8 a.m. Tuesday.
“It was pressure, and I tell you, that pressure was like a crunch. I heard the crunching. “It felt like a bear trap was crunching on my face,” Sumersett, who lives in Charleston, said of the moment the shark sank its teeth into his face.
He remembered the toothy creature quickly letting go of him, but not before tearing out a large portion of the right side of his face.
“I jumped on my board and paddled in. I thought this idiot would come back for me. I thought it was him because I was bleeding so much,” Sumersett said of his desperate escape.
He was taken to a hospital but released after receiving about 20 stitches to the cuts on his face.
Sumersett’s injury marks the seventh shark bite in Volusia County this year – and it’s the first facial bite on record. WESH said.
Sumersett’s father shared a photo on Facebook of doctors stitching up the gruesome skin tears from the attack – a photo the surfer said he had a premonition about.
“I had a feeling. I had a feeling yesterday that I was going to get bitten. I really did. Honestly, I had an intuition,” said Sumersett, who came to Florida on Monday to enjoy the waves of Hurricane Lee.
Even before the incident, he told WESH, he and other surfers had seen a number of sharks in the area.
He now believes the shark noticed the gold chain on its neck and mistook it for food while trawling in the two-meter-wide whitewater zone.
Despite the horror attack, the surfer claimed he would be back riding the waves as soon as possible.
“Hell yeah, I’m going surfing again,” he said.
“Because I love it. There’s nothing in the world that makes me feel better than surfing.”
Other surfers in the area expressed similar intentions, but did not let fear of shark bites stop them from entering the water.
“Nine times out of ten it’s because of that [the surfers] If you fall into shallow water and startle the shark, a reaction bite will occur. It’s not like the shark just comes after them,” longtime surfer Rob Robinson, who arrived at New Smyrna Beach shortly after the Sumersett attack, told the outlet.
“They’re just creatures looking for food, you know? Like me and you. And when you go into the water you get into the food chain,” added another surfer, Daniel Hanson.