A 22-year-old college student, Tyler McQuillen, is lucky to have escaped with his life after getting attacked by a 12-foot-long great white shark, while spearfishing with friends off the coast of Santa Barbara in just 10 feet of water. When McQuillen first felt something pull sharply on his flipper, he assumed that it was his friends playing a joke. What he quickly realized, however, was that the shark had actually bitten down on his foot.
In his shock, McQuillen dropped his spear, and in those next moments getting it back was the difference between life and death. And his GoPro camera captured the entire thing.
The video shows him quickly retrieving the spear from the ocean floor just in time to fend off the 12-foot shark as it charged him again. “The second time he came around, I thought he was finished,” McQuillen told ABC News.
But after the shark’s frightening head-on attack it circled back a third time. As the shark swam closer, McQuillen lunged toward it and jabbed its side with the spear to keep it at bay. “In a life-or-death situation, you need to keep your cool,” he said.
That seems easier said than done with a 2,000+ pound shark torpedoing straight at you, but McQuillen walked away with only two broken toes thanks to his cool head. You can watch the entire terrifying video of his ordeal below: