GALVESTON, Texas – Speaking to KPRC2 via phone, Blaine Shelton said he’ll remain in UTMB Hospital for another three or four days.
From his hospital room, Shelton recounted the seconds he had to react after noticing a shark was fast approaching.
“From the time I saw a tail to the time it bumped me was about five seconds,” said Shelton. “Hit me with a fully stocked grocery cart, is what it felt like, it hit so hard.”
Shelton said he was swimming about 200 yards off the coast of the Bolivar Peninsula. Sheriff’s officials pinpointed the spot as close to the second sandbar near Stingray Road.
“How are you feeling?” asked KPRC’s Robert Arnold.
“Just real worn out, man. It wasn't just the shark bite, it was coming back in at the speed I came back in. I was just exhausted,” said Shelton.
In addition to the chomp from what Shelton describes as a 5-to-6-foot-long bull shark, he said he also tore some of the muscles in his shoulder during his frantic swim back to the beach.
Shelton said he's been swimming in those waters since he was a boy and never encountered a shark until Thursday.
He added he does not believe the shark mistook him for some other type of sea life.
“That shark knew exactly what it was doing because I could see every bit of it and it could see every bit of me,” said Shelton.
Shelton said he is still not sure how he broke free and made it back to land. He said he is lucky the shark didn’t fully close its mouth on his leg.
Shelton said doctors can't stitch his wounds closed because of bacteria in the water possibly still being in his body. He said he’s getting several antibiotics and was told it will take six-to-eight weeks for the wounds to heal.
Shelton lives in Alvin and is a plumber by trade. He said the time away from work is putting a strain on him financially, especially since he also cares for his parents. He is asking for donations to help defray the lost work time.
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Despite the frightening experience, Shelton said he will continue to swim in the waters off Bolivar just as soon as his leg has healed.