That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins intervened, forming a protective ring around Endris, allowing him to get to shore, where quick first aid provided by a friend saved his life.
“Truly a miracle,” Endris told TODAY’s Natalie Morales on Thursday.
The attack occurred on Tuesday, Aug. 28, just before 11 a.m. at Marina State Park off Monterey, Calif., where the 24-year-old owner of Monterey Aquarium Services had gone with friends for a day of the sport they love. Nearly four months later, Endris, who is still undergoing physical therapy to repair muscle damage suffered during the attack, is back in the water and on his board in the same spot where he almost lost his life.
“[It] came out of nowhere. There’s no warning at all.
Maybe I saw him a quarter second before it hit me. But no warning. It was just a giant shark,” Endris said. “It just shows you what a perfect predator they really are.”
The shark, estimated at 12 to 15 feet long, hit him first as Endris was sitting on his surfboard, but couldn’t get its monster jaws around both surfer and surfboard. “The second time, he came down and clamped on my torso — sandwiched my board and my torso in his mouth,” Endris said.
That attack shredded his back, literally peeling the skin back, he said, “like a banana peel.” But because Endris’ stomach was pressed to the surfboard, his intestines and internal organs were protected.
The third time, the shark tried to swallow Endris’ right leg, and he said that was actually a good thing, because the shark’s grip anchored him while he kicked the beast in the head and snout with his left leg until it let go.
The dolphins, which had been cavorting in the surf all along, showed up then.
They circled him, keeping the shark at bay, and enabled Endris to get back on his board and catch a wave to the shore.