JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WVEC) – A Virginia Beach native was bit by a shark in Florida and lived to tell the tale.
Keanan Perry, 17, said the accident happened Friday when he was surfing at Hanna Park in Jacksonville.
"It was super good waves, like best waves of the week,” said Perry.
In a split second, the day became one he’d never forget for all the wrong reasons. Perry said he just finished riding his sixth wave when he stepped off his board near a sandbar.
"I'm guessing I startled it. I just happened to put my foot right down in front of it because that's where the sharks like to hang out," Perry said.
That’s when the blacktip shark sliced Perry’s Achilles tendon.
"My foot felt all dangly and it was a nasty feeling,” Perry said. “And you could see it looked like three little knives that were stuck straight into my foot."
Perry smiled and joked about the encounter over Skype Monday morning.
Hundreds of miles away in Virginia Beach, his mom was still shocked.
"I was shaken, very shaken,” said Rebekah Ayer. "When he told me that [the shark] got his ankle, I was very relieved. I was like ‘OK! Limbs in check!’"
"Every time I go surf, she's like ‘Be careful, I don't want you getting bit.’"
Despite the bite, Perry said he’ll surf again. A surgeon told him that recovery should take six months.
"I'm not scared anymore because I'm pretty sure it won't happen again," Ayer said.
Matthew Klepeisz, with the Virginia Beach Aquarium, shared information for sharks on local shores. Most sharks stay near fishing piers, according to provided information.
The Aquarium reminds swimmers if they see a shark, slowly exit the water and alert a lifeguard because panic could lead to an attack.