BOSTON (AP) — Bandaged but able to walk, Christopher Myers left a hospital Friday in good spirits, even cracking jokes about the shark attack that put him there.
The 50-year-old Myers was bitten Monday, apparently by a great white, when he and his teenage son were swimming toward a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean about 400 yards off Ballston Beach. The animal put four puncture wounds on each of Myers' lower legs.
The injuries required surgery to repair torn tendons, and Myers wore a cast on one leg and bandages on the other as he spoke about the attack to reporters outside Massachusetts General Hospital.
"I figured the options were a shark, a polar bear, an elephant. By process of elimination, I got down to a shark very quickly," Myers said.
He said the bite felt like his leg was caught in a vise. He kicked what he thinks was the shark's snout, and "the shark decided I wasn't tasty or something because he let me go."
The animal's large dorsal fin and about 8 feet of its back appeared in the water between Myers and his son, J.J., before the two swam for shore.
J.J. joined his father at the press conference and said "seeing a shark is just enough to get you swimming as fast as you possibly can to the beach."
Shark expert Greg Skomal, of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, spoke with Myers and examined his injuries and earlier said the shark was likely a great white, the type portrayed in the "Jaws" movies. He said the number of great white sightings off the Massachusetts coast has increased in the last few years, likely because of a growing number of seals, which sharks eat.
A possible great white was seen about 20 miles south from Ballston Beach, trailing a kayaker off Nauset Beach in early July.
Myers, wearing khaki shorts and a dark gray long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up, rolled to the hospital patio press conference in a wheelchair. The Boston native stood up and walked the few steps to a table and chairs without help, joking with reporters that he could walk for them if they wanted.
Myers said he would return to Ballston Beach despite the attack.
"It's my favorite beach in the world," he said. "I will go back."
But he said he would not have swum as far from shore if he had known about shark sightings off Cape Cod or if warning signs had been posted at the beach.
After the news conference, family and friends loaded Myers into the backseat of a Volvo. Myers plans to return home to Denver next week.
One reporter asked if a book deal was in his future.
"I'm open. I'm single too," Myers said with a smile.