July 7th, 2014
04:55 AM ET

Victim Felt 'Shark Gnawing'

Soon after the great white shark chomped into his torso, Steven Robles thought everything was over.

"I really thought that that might be it. I thought I might be dying," he said.

Instead, the long-distance swimmer is recovering from the wounds - but might never return to the water. The trauma of the attack is still too vivid.

On Saturday, a 7-foot-long shark near Manhattan Beach, California, became agitated by a fisherman's hook. It apparently took out its frustration on Robles, who was swimming nearby.

"We saw each other. It did a sharp left turn and then it lunged right at me, didn't even hesitate," Robles said.

"I could feel the vibration of this entire shark gnawing into my skin," he said. "You could feel the whole body shaking as it's digging into my torso."

The burning sensation of the bite is hard to forget.

"The bite mark's like a jellyfish sting that just keeps penetrating deeper and deeper into the bone," Robles said. "It was terrifying."

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