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'It Would Have Bit My Toes Off': Surfer Escapes Shark Bite By ‘an Inch or Two’

He thought it was a turtle but jumped up, sitting with his feet on his board, when it became clear he was being followed by a shark about 7 to 10-feet long.

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Updated:August 19, 2019, 3:40 PM IST
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'It Would Have Bit My Toes Off': Surfer Escapes Shark Bite By ‘an Inch or Two’
Image posted by Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services / Facebook.
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A teenage surfer is planning to be more cautious about riding the waves after a life-threatening encounter with a shark.

Max Keliikipi grabbed his surfboard after he saw the waves at Makaha Beach in Hawaii, United States, as he was driving home from work.

About 100 yards away from the shore, he saw something sticking out of the water, but "blending in with the reef," according to CNN.

He thought it was a turtle but jumped up, sitting with his feet on his board, when it became clear he was being followed by a shark about 7 to 10-feet long.

"It bit a huge chunk off my board," he told CNN.

"If my feet were a little further up the board, it would have bit my toes off."

The shark was “literally an inch or two from my feet,” he told KHON2 News.

Realizing he had to choose between “fight or flight,” Keliikipi started swimming back to the shore.

He was later told by his lifeguard friends that the predator was probably a tiger shark.

Beachgoers have been warned about the recent shark presence in the shallow waters.

Keliikipi said the shark attacks were not uncommon and he knew somewhere between 10 and 20 surfers who had been attacked.

Although he is not planning to quit surfing, Keliikipi has urged caution.

His advice: Surfers should "go with someone who knows the area well," and should never panic. “That's what kills people."

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