Jeff Horton was on the waves off Kauai's north shore Sunday morning, when what he estimated to be a 12-foot tiger shark came up beneath him and chomped onto his board.
Horton, a former boxer who moved to Hawaii two years ago, saw his life pass before his eyes. "I thought it was do or die," he told KHON-2. "I thought I was going to die, for real." So he did what came naturally: He started throwing punches.
The impact rolled Horton off the board and onto the shark, and he latched on. He was, he said, riding a shark. He held on to the fin with one hand, punched with the other. He slugged. He shouted. He kept swinging.
“I started punching as hard as I could,” he said.
He estimated he landed eight blows.
It was when the former boxer jammed his knuckle into the shark’s eye, it retreated.
Actually, this is exactly what you're supposed to do if attacked by a shark: pound away at its snout, eyes, and gills. Sharkie can dish it out, but can't take it.
We obviously only have Horton's word on this story (the shark could not be reached for comment), but he does have a big-ass teeth imprint on his board to show for it. Horton says when he paddled back to shore, a group gathered to celebrate his escape, and one person even gave $50 to buy a bottle of liquor.
Horton was back out in the water the next day.