Shark Attack Victim Leaves Hospital

Surfer has told friends he will be back in the waters as soon as possible.

The Monterey surfer attacked by a great white shark over the weekend walked out of a San Jose hospital Monday afternoon just two days after his brush with death.

Eric Tarantino, 27, was surfing with friends Saturday morning at Marina State Beach in Monterey County when a 9-foot shark bit him on the neck and right forearm.

The shark also left teeth marks on his red surfboard some 19-inches across.        

"I feel really lucky and grateful right now,'' he said as he got out of a wheelchair and into his girlfriend's car for a ride back home.       

His doctors said the shark nearly killed him and only missed his jugular vein and carotid

"It was a potentially fatal injury,'' hospital spokeswoman Bev Mikalonis said. ``But he's fine
 and he's in good shape and should recover fully.''       

Tarantino's friend, Brandon McKibben, of Salinas, helped him out of the water, and other surfers used beach towels to try to stop his bleeding, according to the Monterey Herald.       

Signs were posted along the area's beaches advising of the shark danger and recommending that beachgoers stay out of the water for the next week.

The ocean waters off the Monterey and Santa Cruz County coast were teeming with wildlife in recent weeks. Experts say they are drawn here because of red tide. Red is the color the smaller sea creatures make as they gather on the top of the ocean.

Those sea creatures are bait that bring in sharks and whales, the experts said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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