Watch CBS News

'Beyond Excruciating': Shark Bite Survivor Describes Horrifying Attack

Follow CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter

NEW YORK (CBSNews) -- William Lytton, the man who survived a horrifying shark attack off of Cape Cod earlier this month says he hopes others learn from his ordeal. A shark bit into Lytton's left leg while he was swimming at Longnook Beach the afternoon of August 15. He nearly died.

In his first TV interview, Lytton, 61, of Scarsdale, New York, told CBS This Morning's Michelle Miller he was in the water just a few yards off shore when his "leg was seized." He said the pain was "beyond excruciating."

"I felt like I was in a wrestling match because this animal was trying to flip me. As I turned my head around, I see a big head on my leg that belongs to a shark. And this was my advantage as it turns out," he said.

That's because of something he had seen on TV.

"You know, nature documentary 101. I knew dolphins always hit the gill. That's the place you go to attack the shark," Lytton said.

He punched the shark in the gill with his left hand, which is now in a cast because of some torn tendons.

"So if I hurt my hand, I think I hurt the shark and it released and swam away," he told Miller.

Lytton was saved by two recent graduates of Boston College's nursing school who, he says, were within yelling distance. They heard him and dragged him to shore.

"Then things really took off," he said. He was rushed to a Medflight helicopter and flown to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he was put into a coma for two days.

Lytton said doctors told him he lost all of his blood. "A full oil change," he told Miller. He had six surgeries and was then moved to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

He said he will go swimming in the ocean again.

"I would probably be very hesitant in that I would go to that very same beach. It would freak me out a little to go to the same place, even though lightning never strikes twice, right." Lytton said.

Lytton's wife told CBS she's grateful for all of the people who have helped her husband, including a police officer who drove her more than two hours to see him at Tufts Medical Center.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.