A 21-year-old surfer was bitten by a shark on the left arm Tuesday afternoon north of Sebastian Inlet, cutting him three times and requiring 18 stitches, Indian River Fire police say.
Brandon Taylor, a Sebastian resident and avid surfer since the age of 4, was bitten at about 4:30 p.m. near Whiteys Fishing Outfitters.
"I say your more likely to get bit by a dog than a shark," Taylor told Local 6 on Wednesday. "One time in 17 years- it's going to happen eventually I guess."
Taylor said he started paddling over a deep trough roughly 25 yards offshore when the shark, estimated to be up to 5 feet long, swam up beneath his board and bit his arm.
"25 yards out I felt something take me by surprise," Taylor said. "The feeling was pain and I knew it was a shark attack but I just stayed calm. It kind of ripped my arm out of it."
He returned to shore, wrapped his leash around his arm to try to control the bleeding, and called 911, police said.
"I just reacted immediately freaked out a little bit and pulled my arm out of his mouth," Taylor said.
Police said a friend drove Taylor to an Indian River County Fire Rescue station, where he was treated and taken to Sebastian River Medical Center.
It was about ten miles away so we had a ways to hike it was kind of an adrenaline rush during all the way with my arm bleeding out," he said.