Man Fends off Frightening Great White Shark Attack and Catches It All on Camera

There are few things in life that are absolute and universal. One of those things is not wanting to be anywhere near a great white shark with blood pouring from your foot in open water. Generally speaking, humans don't fare well in aquatic battles with the toothy killer. Luckily for college student Tyler McQuillen, he was an exception.

McQuillen was diving near Santa Barbara on Sept. 1 — and filming the dive on his GoPro — when a great white shark attacked him from behind, ripping off one of his flippers. As it approached his side, he fended it off briefly. Then shark circled back again. He was able to fend it off once more with the spear gun that he was carrying the GoPro on. After that, the shark backed off.

"I gave him a nice little jab," McQuillen told CBS 8.

He managed to swim back to safety without any further attacks. He made it back in time to warn friends, knowing that he was bleeding from his foot and had some of the shark's blood on his spear. "I saw blood around me," he wrote on YouTube, "and wasn't sure where it was from, so I swam as fast as I could back to shore."

At that point, he didn't realize that the bite that tore off one of his flippers had made it through to his foot. He was fortunate, though. He only broke two toes from the bite and didn't suffer any other injuries. That could have gone worse.

Watch the video (which isn't too gruesome) above. 

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He holds a Guinness World Record, but has never met the fingernail lady. He’s written for Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, The Rumpus, and other digital wonderlands. Follow him @dlukenelson.