Shark Attacks Professional Surfer Off Florida Coast

Frank O'Rourke says he was lying on his board Saturday, waiting to catch a wave, when a shark grabbed hold of his right elbow.

Thankfully, that shark let go and O'Rourke is resting. He shared his experience and what happened in the minutes after he realized he'd been bitten, NBC affiliate First Coast News reports.

O'Rourke has surfed along Jax Beach shores for 20 years. In the past five years, he's become a sponsored surfer.

The joy he gets from surfing outweighs the shock that struck him during Saturday's surf session.

He says the whole ordeal lasted 30 seconds.

"Shark comes out of the water, grabs right onto my elbow, and tugs a little bit and thrashes, and I guess it tasted me and was like 'I don't want any of that,' released, swam back away," O'Rourke said.

That moment of fear quickly turned to relief as he was able to get help from a lifeguard nearby.

O'Rourke said he's grateful his injuries were not serious.

"If it wanted me, it could've done more damage," he said. "But it didn't want me. At that moment you think you could react and hit the shark and do something, but it happened so fast you don't know what's going on."

Video captured by Surfline shows Frank O'Rourke paddling out of the water to get help.

The quick encounter gave O'Rourke several scars from the shark's teeth.

"I got lucky to say I got bit by a shark and luckily it was about a three-foot blacktip," O'Rourke added.

The professional surfer is taking a break to recover from his minor injuries but says he'll be back on the water in no time.

"I mean anything can happen at any moment, you can't predict these situations," he said. "Just know there could be some harm out there but you can't be scared, get out there and have fun."

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