JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Chad Renfro said he was paddling out to catch a wave in south Jacksonville Beach on Wednesday afternoon when he felt something bite into his left foot.
"Immediately I knew what it was, so I just paddled back in as fast as I could -- caught the next wave in," Renfro said.
Renfro says he hobbled on shore, blood going everywhere.
"I was sitting there and people kept looking at me," Renfro told Channel 4's Hailey Winslow from his hospital bed on Thursday. "I was trying to get someone to help me, and then one girl had walked over and I told her to call 911, and then I saw the lifeguards drive by, and so I just hollered for them and they came over."
Renfro had two or three cuts on one foot and his ankle and it took 85 stitches to close up his wounds. His mother says the shark bite sliced a nerve, most of a tendon and a piece of bone.
Renfro plans to tell his friends he was bitten by a 12-foot hammerhead, but experts believe he it was probably a 4-5 foot lemon or bull shark that chomped on his foot.
"The first thing that came to mind was basketball, if I was going to play basketball," Renfro said.
Renfro says he is also a passionate surfer, having been on boogie and surfboards since he was 5 years old. But this is not the way he planned to kick off his summer at the beach.
"You don't ever see them. You don't ever think they're real. Only on Shark Week," he said.
Renfro plans to tell his friends he was bitten by a 12-foot hammerhead, but experts believe he was bitten by a 4-5 foot lemon or bull shark.
Once he's healed, Renfro says he will not be not afraid to get back in the water, saying, "Who gets attacked by a shark twice?"
Renfro's mother was joking that someone is more likely to win the lottery than get bitten by a shark, so the family is planning to get a lottery ticket as soon as they leave the hospital.
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