In his first interview since the Aug. 15 attack , William Lytton said he’d been swimming in about “8 to 10 feet” (2.4 to 3 meters) of water off Truro, Massachusetts, when he felt an incredible pain shoot through his left leg and quickly realized he was being attacked by a shark.
The 61-year-old neurologist from Scarsdale, New York, said he gave the animal a strong smack in the gills with his left hand, a move that likely saved his life but also resulted in some torn tendons. He now sports an arm cast as well as bandages and a brace around most of his left leg.
“I initially was terrified, but, really, there was no time to think,” he said, recounting the ordeal following a physical therapy session at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston, where he’s been since Sunday. “It doesn’t feel like I did anything heroic. A lot of this was luck.”
What a legend.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you know that going to the beach down the Cape this summer has been more dangerous than wearing a Big Papi jersey in the Bronx. There have been shark sightings up the wazz this year, from Nauset all the way up to Plymouth, and one man, William Lytton, almost lost his life after being attacked by one in Truro just a few weeks ago.
But now we get the full story: A 61-year-old man goes toe-to-toe with the world’s most fearsome predator, and not only comes out alive but made the jabroni shark swim away after one solid throw of the hand. (Jason Statham, eat your heart out.)
Look, Lytton is not the first man to pull off the feat; this scenario has happened elsewhere before, as evidenced by the once-great Dane Cook back in 2003:
(I’m sure if the Massachusetts-native heard this story, he was grinning from ear to ear with his 19-year-old girlfriend, who was FOUR at the time this bit came out. Not trying to be judgmental here, and best of luck to the seemingly happy couple, but that’s just kinda crazy to think about.)
But let’s not take Mr. Lytton’s tale as a solid reason to start jumping back in the water again. The guy still almost died, had six surgeries (and likely needs even more plus weeks of rehab), and still GOT BITTEN BY A SHARK.
I know many people out there have the whole “please, it happens to like 1 in every kajillion people in the water” mentality, but I’m not taking any chances. Every time we’re at the beach, my girlfriend and I have a Mexican stand-off, where I stay on the sand and hyperventilate as I watch her swim around blissfully in the ocean. I may go out to the waist, but that water line isn’t touching the nipples or neck. No way, Jose.
So, once again, kudos to Mr. Lytton on a pretty legendary story and what will hopefully be a full recovery. But sharks are still sharks, people. Let’s not get too cocky here.