Christopher Blowes never saw the 19-foot great white shark but knew right away he’d been attacked as “it just hit me really hard,” the Australian surfer recalled in his first interview since losing his left leg to the shark attack.
Blowes was surfing off Right Point on the southwestern side of Fishery Bay on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia when the terrifying incident occurred on April 25.
Blowes was flown to Royal Adelaide Hospital where he was in critical condition, fighting for his life. At one point, he was clinically dead as his heart stopped for 90 minutes, The Advertiser reported.
Now, seven months later, Blowes has a new prosthetic and is well on the road to recovery. On Monday, he spoke to the media for the first time about the horrifying ordeal.
“People were saying it [the shark] was five or six meters [long] … I remember being in its mouth, but I don’t remember looking at the size of the shark,” Blowes told Channel Seven, according to The Advertiser.
“I didn’t see it coming, obviously, and no one did, and it just hit me really hard and I sort of knew straight away then [that he’d been attacked].
“It grabbed me the first time from the waist down and luckily I was sort of paddling on my board and the underside of my board protected me.
“They [my friends] were pretty much at me when it pulled me down the second time and they were right there amongst it.”
His friends helped him to shore and used the surfboard leg rope as a tourniquet, saving his life.
Blowes said he didn’t realize the shark took his leg until waking up in the hospital.
He said he remembers the horrific moment when the shark grabbed him and he thought he was going to die.
“All those thoughts come rushing through your head…`I don’t want to die…I don’t want to die,’” Blowes said.
To help cover ongoing medical expenses for the surfer, a Chris Blowes Support Fund has been established.
“Chris has already shown that he has that little bit extra,” Joel Collins wrote on Facebook. “First pulling through against the odds. Now determinedly trying to regain his mobility.
“With the greater independence of a microprocessor knee, Chris could continue to drive forward. It is this determined nature of Chris that has made me decide to start the 105% initiative.”