Ever since the release of Jaws in 1976, people have learned to stay away from the water. There is truth in the movie’s slogan because sharks could pose danger, although these attacks aren’t intentional, but part of their nature. Still, people dare the waves.
One surfer in Santa Rosa Island, California had a terrifying encounter with a great white that bit his leg, dragged him underwater and lived to tell the tale. For Adam Coons, a 37-year old California surfer, it was truly a narrow escape and perhaps the greatest Christmas gift he will ever receive.
The incident took place around 3:15 pm. Fortunately, a good Samaritan observed the occurrence then notified watchstanders about it. When interviewed later by ABC News, the surfer said the attack felt like a torpedo blasted him.
He was not able to feel the shark’s bite because of the adrenaline rush, but he knew about getting dragged underwater as he thrashed continuously. According to Jeremy Howard, the victim’s friend, Adam got dragged into the water about 5-ft deep.
The miraculous rescue
The US Coast Guard crew airlifted Adam after the incident using a helicopter. The Santa Barbara airport paramedics administered first aid procedures on Adam’s wounds before transporting him to one of the local hospitals. It didn’t take long before the video taken of the rescue surfaced on Twitter.
The video had a caption stating, “Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco FOB Mugu medevacs shark bite victim to safety and transports him to Santa Barbara Airport where EMTs awaited.”
Soon after, Adam and his friend Jeremy narrated their experience to ABC news. Coincidentally and luckily, Jeremy, a former lifeguard, was on board a small boat in the vicinity when the incident took place.
He safely pulled Adam out of the water then applied a tourniquet on his bitten leg. Jeremy told Adam to calmly lay down so he can apply the tourniquet to help stop or reduce the bleeding. According to them, the great white was a 15-footer. Adam’s wetsuit bore puncture marks from the shark’s teeth and his surfboard got destroyed.
How Coon felt after
The whole episode only lasted for about an hour, from Jeremy’s rescue to the chopper lift to the airport in Santa Barbara where Adam received treatment from medical technicians. It truly was a well-coordinated operation as aptly described by Lt. Benjamin McIntyre-Coble, the command duty officer.
According to him, this was the best outcome possible from an experience that was truly terrifying. Adam had the same sentiments when interviewed by ABC news. What he went through was a horrific and terrifying situation. He felt so grateful and happy in his life. Adam’s exact words were:
“I don’t know why it’s me and my family that get to stay together, while others have lost so much, and why I am keeping my legs and why I will have full recovery, except to hopefully inspire others to not give up on their passions and for families to hear the story of a Christmas miracle and to come together during the holidays no matter what might have been otherwise standing between them.”