When Joshua Watson was bitten by a shark recently, he probably never thought that it would be his ninja skills that would save his life.
KVFS 12 reports that the 14-year-old from Summerville, South Carolina, is a second degree black belt in karate. The teenagaer says he and his sister were ironically pretending to be sharks while swimming at Kiawah Island's Beachwalker Park on Tuesday when the incident occurred.
While describing to KVFS 12 how he was bumped into by what he estimates was a 5- to 6-foot-long shark, Watson said, "I tried to jerk my ankle away and I accidentally punched the shark.” The punch seemed to startle the animal, but before it swam off it left a row of teeth marks on Watson's right leg. The teen said, "At first I was actually really surprised because I never thought I would get bit by a shark, so it was kind of scary at first."
The quick-thinking Watson said, "I tried to stay calm because the more your adrenaline rushes, the more blood comes out." He said he learned what to do in the event of a shark attack from the movie Soul Surfer.
The teen is now recovering after undergoing surgery. Watson's recovery is expected to last about six weeks and he'll be on crutches most of that time. His parents are thankful he didn't suffer any long term injuries. Says mom Rebekah, "I could've been so much worse and he's really gotten the best scenario possible for recovery.”
After writing about another shark attack recently in Pacifica, California, we have to admit we’re wary of going in the water. Senior Biologist with the South Carolina Aquarium, Arnold Postell, says low visibility in the water could be the reason the shark bit Watson.
According to Postell, "The animal wasn't out hunting humans. He was out possibly feeding though. In low visibility he bumped into something. He might have smelled food from local bait, possibly a fisherman fishing and it was enough cues that he might have just taken a quick bite on something he didn't see."
Yikes, be careful at the beach, people... and if you do run into a shark, just use karate!