Triathlete Could Only Laugh Following Grisly Shark Attack Despite Losing An Arm
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Triathlete Could Only Laugh Following Grisly Shark Attack Despite Losing An Arm

Triathlete Chuck Anderson was involved in a grisly shark attack in 2000 that cost him an arm. However, he could only laugh when he saw his training partner Karen afterwards despite his injuries.

"She said, 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, you don't have an arm.' And she looked at me and asked why I was laughing," he told Fox News. "I said I got attacked four separate times by a shark. And I'm standing here on the beach talking to you. I can't believe I'm alive ... I should be dead."

Looking back on the incident 24 years later, Anderson is so grateful to be alive. Anderson said he was happy that the shark didn't kill him on that fateful morning. He was in the water when he felt the animal slam into his legs. He was swimming in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

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"It hit me about thigh-high. Came up from the bottom. I didn't even see it," Anderson said. "It knocked me up out of the water a bit, and I started treading water. I hollered for Karen (his training partner) to go to the beach. When I did, I saw the shark coming from the bottom at me again."

Anderson reacted blindly and tried to use his arm to stop the creature.  "I threw my hands towards him. And he snapped and took all four fingers off my right hand," Anderson said. " I held my right hand up in the air, tried to back paddle towards the beach with my left hand ... I saw all the blood around me, and I thought, 'Oh goodness. This is not gonna be good."

Anderson tried to escape the creature, but he had 150 yards to go back to the beach. That's when the shark attacked him again, ramming into his torso. It circled him trying to kill him.

Athlete Survives Shark Attack

"I thought I pushed him off, but my arm went into the shark's mouth, and he took me to the bottom," Anderson said, "He swung me around. My shoulder and hip were all chafed and scarred. When I was on the bottom, that's when the good Lord and I had a conversation, and I asked him to get me back up to the surface, at least give me a chance to see my kids one more time."

Fortunately, he said that God was on his side that day.

"I have no explanation for it, but the shark went to the surface with my right hand in his mouth," Anderson said. "My left hand was on his nose, and he pushed me directly towards the beach. I was going so fast. People on the beach saw it and said it looked like I was on skis."

He ended up losing his arm due to the attack, but he was so glad to be alive.

"I've never held any animosity towards the shark. It's their territory, and you know, I just appreciate the fact that I'm still alive. I respect sharks. I'm not happy I lost my right arm to one, and if I run into that guy again, I'll probably have some choice words for him," Anderson joked. "But you know, they're part of the ecosystem, and if we affect that ecosystem, the oceans that we love will be affected, and I don't want that to happen. I want people to respect the territory of the sharks."