Patrick Thornton, a 47-year-old banker from Charlotte, North Carolina, explained how he survived a vicious shark attack on Friday in the Outer Banks.
In a telephone interview from his hospital room on Monday, Thornton told The Virginia-Pilot that was playing in waist-deep water at Avon with his 8-year-old son Jack around 11:30 a.m. when he felt what he believed was a crab biting his ankle.
He started bleeding and that’s when he saw a 5-foot long shark swimming in the water.
He told the paper that he yelled “Shark! Shark!” to alert the other children and adults swimming nearby to get out of the water.
The shark then sank its teeth into Thornton’s back. He punched it three times before it let go.
To make matters worse, Thornton spotted three other sharks in the vicinity, apparently attracted to the blood in the water.
Injured, Thornton placed himself between the shark and his son, who couldn’t move because he was so afraid. Thornton managed to push his kid toward the beach.
Then, the shark struck again, sinking its jaws once more into his back. He elbowed the shark in the nose before it released its grip so he could make it back to the beach.
Paramedics arrived and took him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with puncture wounds in his back and 10 inches of missing skin above his right ankle. On Monday, he was listed in serious condition, the Virginia-Pilot report said.
Thornton was the fifth shark attack victim in North Carolina in June. The sixth attack happened the day after his, according to the report.
Thornton appears to work for JPMorgan in the Charlotte, according to his LinkedIn and FINRA/public records.
Check out this mobile phone footage from MyFox8 of Thornton being treated on shore:
And here’s what another eye witness shared on Twitter: