California man recounts great white shark attack and his journey to survive

California man recounts great white shark attack and his journey to survive

California man recounts great white shark attack and his journey to survive

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A California man shared his dramatic brush with death and gave advice to surfers after being attacked by a great white shark in 2022 and lived to tell the tale.

Michael “Jared” Trainor told Fox News Digital that he was driving toward a rugged beach in Ferndale, Californiawhen it “occurred” to him that it was mid-Sharktober, the period from September to December when sharks are most present along the coast.

“It’s crazy to me that this happened a couple of years ago, but it was midday and I’d been surfing in this area for some time, and it’s pretty rugged and remote,” he recalled.

“I felt a little uneasy thinking about sharks in the area,” Trainor added. “I paddled out and it was an ominous day.”


Jared Trainor

Jared Trainor used his left leg to kick what he thought was a seal’s head, and the animal released his leg. (Jared Trainor)

Trainor said he noticed a pod of seals, which was “pretty usual,” as he paddled out to catch the next set of waves.

“I had a strange, uncomfortable feeling,” he said.

“When I got on the board and started paddling, it almost instantly hit me,” he said. “It looked like (the shark) came up and pushed my left leg up in the air and held onto my right leg and the board.”

“I was lucky that the board was fixed under the lower jaw,” he said.

Jared Trainor is standing on the beach with a surfboard.

Jared Trainor poses with a surfboard. He said he saw a “big black silhouette” when he came across the great white shark. (Jared Trainor)

Trainor, now 33, said that before he was bitten he saw a “big black silhouette” while he was submerged underwater.

“The last thing I remember was looking back at the beach and seeing where my dogs were and when I came to, I opened my eyes underwater and I could see the surface of the water and I could see this big black silhouette.”


He said his first thought was that he had been attacked by an aggressive sea lion.

“I could see this big black silhouette.”

Jared Trainor poses in front of a great white shark

Jared Trainor poses in front of a great white shark. He said he was grateful to be alive after the attack. (Jared Trainor)

Trainor said she “just felt a sensation in her knee.”

“I felt like a dog was trying to get into my wetsuit,” he said. “And I managed to kick it a few times.”

“I felt the crack and saw stars emanating from the silhouette,” he said.

After kicking the shark, later identified as a great whiteThe predator freed him from his clutches.

After the shark disappeared, Trainor said he used his board to slowly travel back to shore.

“At the time, I wasn’t sure if my wetsuit had been damaged, it felt like a huge creature had come, jumped on my leg and knocked me to the ground,” he said. “I had no idea I was so hurt.”

California man's wounds are open after shark attack

Trainor and his family later learned that he had been attacked by a great white shark, estimated to have been about 16 feet long and weighed more than 1,000 pounds. (Jared Trainor)

Trainor said there was no one on the beach, but fortunately there was a fellow surfer in the parking lot who saw the attack and ran to shore.

“I saw him running towards me and I knew that what had happened to me was pretty serious,” she said. “And when I stood up when I got to the sand, I realized that my leg was shattered and I was surprised that I could still walk.”

“I was bleeding a lot, but at that moment I didn’t feel any pain,” he said.


Trainor said the good Samaritan who found him on the beach grabbed his dog’s leash and tied it to his upper thigh to act as a tourniquet until first responders arrived to rush him to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, California.

Jared Trainor's surfboard after the shark attack

Jared Trainor’s surfboard after a shark attack. He shared that he knew it was a shark and not a sea lion when he saw the teeth marks on his surfboard. (Jared Trainor)

Trainor said she asked paramedics if it was a seal attack and they pointed to her surfboard, which had a large shark bite mark.

“I was almost on the verge of tears because I was so beside myself that I had just experienced my worst fear and I thought I was a sea lion,” she said.

Trainor’s injuries included six lacerations to the inner thigh, a tear in the medial collateral ligament of the knee and some bone penetration.

Jared Trainor's leg with a brace

Jared Trainor wore a brace following his surgery after being attacked by a great white shark in October 2022. (Jared Trainor)

After her surgery, Trainor began the journey of physical therapy and eventually picked up a surfboard again.


“Physical therapy was a hurdle I had to overcome, but I ended up having good results and ended up getting back in the water to surf about two months after that,” he said.

“It was important for me to overcome any PTSD I was experiencing as a result of the attack,” she said.

Great white shark attack with bite and stitches

Jared Trainor’s leg with stitches after the shark attack in October 2022. (Jared Trainor)

Shark attack survivor shows stitches on his leg

Jared’s scar healed slowly after surgery. (Jared Trainor)

The surf lover now takes to the waves with a group of friends.

Yo “We still surf that same beach pretty often, but now there’s a group of guys there and we all communicate with each other when we go so we can have a friend in the water with us,” Trainor said.


Trainor said he is “grateful” to be alive and for the progress he has made since the attack.

“People have died because of this and I almost lost my life,” he said. “I feel very grateful that I was able to recover from this.”