BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Michael Salinger loves surfing, and Wednesday was a perfect day for it, he thought. "I woke up, and I said, 'Today, I'm surfing!' and I jumped in the surf, which turned out not to be the best decision," he said.
Salinger, 21, was in the water at Playalinda Beach at Canaveral National Seachore in Brevard County, paddling and fighting the drift, when "out of nowhere," he said a shark appeared. "This gray mass kind of exploded out of the water and latched on to my hand. It was over in a second. It was violent, painful and powerful."
He fell off his boards and recounted that the whole thing seemed surreal. "I was just freaking out to get on the board, and once I got on the board, I just turned and went!"
Salinger suffered some deep puncture wounds to his hand, but luckily, some people on the beach helped control the bleeding. "He latched between my thumb and forefinger... severed my tendon that controls my pinky, so it's kind of limp right now," he explained.
Salinger said surgery was required. He suspects the shark, believed to be a bull shark, was anywhere from four to six feet in length.