“I felt a bump hit, I think that’s when he bit me. I think I grabbed around – I was like trying to throw my body on top by his dorsal fin and then grab the tail. I was trying to push. I was just pushing it away.” – Megan, hardcore shark attack survivor
I don’t know how this slipped my various RSS radars three times, but I just learnt from my professor that his little sister, Megan Halavais, was recently attacked by a shark. Alex posted several news reports about it, including this short one which got her name all wrong (journalists aren’t any better than bloggers). News10 Sacramento had this to report:
A 20-year-old woman bit by a shark while surfing off the Sonoma County coast recalled the shark as “huge” and said it was probably more scared than she was.
Meg Halavais spoke with reporters today from her hospital bed. Her leg was swathed in dressings covering the 18-inch bite in her right leg. She was in the water at Salmon Creek Beach, where she has been surfing for the past two years, when the attack happened. It was quick. “It came behind me, chomped, and released,” Halavais recounted. She said she didn’t didn’t feel any immediate pain from the bite.
Witnesses to the attack think the shark was a Great White, and experts concur. There have been prior sightings of Great Whites at Salmon Creek Beach and the size of the bite marks on Halavais’ leg and surfboard is consistent with a that species of shark. Halavais just knew it was a big shark. “It was huge,” she remembered. “It was like twice the size of me.”
California has beaches where you’d find the most number of shark attacks in the United States, so one really has to be careful surfing there. Megan escaped certain death as the shark bite was just centimeters from hitting a major artery. Still, she has a hard road of recovery ahead of her… the shark apparently severed her quadriceps and calf muscles. Even though the shark temporarily took away some part of her, she remains in good spirits. Doctors played Beach Boys music and Halavais joked while they cleaned her wounds and repaired her muscles with dozens of stitches. You can see how big the shark bite was just by looking at her surf board…
Alex shares with us a press conference video with her doctor, boyfriend, and fellow surfer. Kudos to Megan Halavais for teaching others to be brave.