SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A diver says he feels “extremely lucky” to be alive after a close encounter with a great white shark.
Jamie Hugg posted the video on YouTube on Monday but said it was shot Sept. 1. The video has since been removed.
“I was diving off the coast of Santa Barbara at Refugio Point Sept 1st when I was hit in the back,” Hugg wrote. “I thought it was my friends playing a joke on me.
“I lost grip of my speargun which I quickly retrieved.”
In the video, Hugg is seen missing the flipper on his right foot when he swims down to speargun and kicks back toward the surface. The shark is seen coming almost straight at him about 17 seconds into the video.
“And then it hit me. A HUGE great white,” Hugg said.
Hugg said the shark was at least 12 feet long.
“It quickly circled around me and I used my speargun to keep it away,” Hugg said.
Hugg is seen jabbing the speargun at the shark about 25 seconds into the video.
“I saw blood around me and wasn’t sure where it was from, so I swam as fast as I could back to shore,” Hugg said. “Got a laceration on my right foot in the initial hit, I didn’t realized the shark had bit me.”
Hugg said the shark bite broke two toes and posted a photo of the wound.