Family: Seriously injured surfer punched shark to escape attack - KPTV - FOX 12

Family: Seriously injured surfer punched shark to escape attack on Oregon coast

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29-year-old Joseph Tanner (Family photo) 29-year-old Joseph Tanner (Family photo)
OREGON COAST (KPTV) -

A local surfer is still in the hospital after he survived a rare shark attack on the Oregon coast.

29-year-old Joseph Tanner is in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital with severe leg wounds. His older brother Noah Beck spoke with Fox 12 outside the hospital Tuesday, still stunned by what happened. 

Fox 12 asked Beck if Tanner had ever worried about sharks. 

“I don’t think many surfers in the Pacific Northwest worry about that,” said Beck.

Around 4 p.m. Monday, Oregon State Police say Tanner was surfing at Indian Beach, near Ecola State park, when a shark – at least eight feet long – attacked him. Tanner told Beck the whole story.

"He was like, arms resting on his board and the shark got him by the leg and pulled him under,” said Beck. “Then he punched the shark and the shark let him go.”

Tanner managed to get on his surfboard and paddle into shore as he yelled at other people to get out of the water.

Fellow surfers pulled Tanner to safety where he used his skills as a trauma nurse to help them with his injuries.

Beck says Tanner instructed the surfers to make a tourniquet out of his surfboard leash. And Beck’s not surprised he kept a cool head.

“He’s very tough. Yeah, he’s a great nurse.”

At Indian Beach Tuesday, new signs were posted warning visitors about the shark sighting. Beck says his entire family is grateful that Tanner lived to tell the story.

"Yeah we definitely feel very lucky.”

Shark attacks are very rare in Oregon. The last one happened in 2011 off the coast of Newport, also involving a surfer. That man survived as well.

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