NorCal Surfer Survived Shark Attack By Punching Its Head

EUREKA (CBS/AP) — A 25-year-old California surfer who survived a shark attack said he punched the shark in the head until it finally released him.

Scott Stephens of Humboldt County spoke about his ordeal at a news conference on Wednesday—a day after the attack on a popular surf spot off the coast of Eureka.

Related: Witness Describes Shark Attack

Stephens said the shark pulled him underwater after biting him and only released him after receiving blows to its head.

Doctors say Stephens suffered at least seven deep lacerations, but none of his vital organs were damaged. He is listed in fair condition.

Stephens also publicly thanked the doctors who operated on him and strangers who came to his aid. He said he plans to surf again.

In a separate shark encounter involving another Northern California surfer, Mariko Haugen, of Folsom, told Sacramento News10 she was swimming with her husband off Maui over the weekend when she encountered a tiger shark.

She said her martial arts training prepared her and she punched it twice.

Haugen was not bitten but said she did require stitches for some scratches.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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