A Colorado man who woke up to a "crunching sound and a lot of pain" as a bear bit down on his head last summer — and who was also bitten by a rattlesnake about three years before — now has a third survival story to tell.
Dylan McWilliams, 20, was boogie boarding in the clear, blue Hawaiian waves at about 7:30 a.m. on April 19, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. That's when a 3- to 5-foot wave knocked him off his board in 15-foot-deep water about 30 yards from shore.
It was then that he felt an intense pain in his right calf.
“At first I panicked,” he told the newspaper. “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.”
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When he looked down, he saw a 6- to 8-foot striped shark — likely a tiger shark — swimming beneath him, the Star-Advertiser reported. He also saw a lot of blood in the clear water, according to Hawaii News Now.
McWilliams gave the shark a kick before "launching into a desperate swim to shore," the Star-Advertiser reported.
“That was the scariest part," he told the Star-Advertiser. "I didn’t know where the shark was, and I didn’t know if he would come after me again."
Once McWilliams made it to shore, Hawaii News Now reported, bystanders helped him get to an urgent care for treatment. He suffered deep cuts to his leg. They were not considered life-threatening cuts.
He got seven stitches at the hospital, the Star-Advertiser reported.
Just last year, in July, the Colorado man needed nine staples to the back of his neck after he was attacked by a bear while he was sleeping. He was a 19-year-old staff member at a children's mountain camp in Boulder County.
“I never thought I would be attacked by a bear,” he previously told CBS4. “I woke up to a crunching sound and a lot of pain. … The bear had a hold of my head and was dragging me across the ground.”
It was a 300-pound bear, according to Fox News.
“I’m not afraid of the bears. I’m not afraid of sleeping outside anymore,” Dylan told Denver7. “You just have to be aware and respect the animals.”
And just over three years before that, McWilliams told the Star-Advertiser, a rattlesnake bit him while he was hiking in Moab, Utah. It was a "dry bite," meaning it was only enough venom to make him ill for a couple of days.
“My parents are grateful I’m still alive," he told the newspaper.
Despite three bites, McWilliams told Hawaii News Now that his love for the outdoors cannot be shaken.