A Portland-area man is recovering from a rare Oregon shark attack that left him with what a witness calls "fairly gruesome" injuries. The victim, 29-year-old Joseph Tanner, is a trauma nurse who was able to help his own rescuers, witness Jeff Rose tells KGW. "He directed his own first aid, what needed to be done, he asked us a lot of questions, what we were seeing, if we saw spurting blood," says Rose. He says Tanner was sitting on his surfboard when he saw splashing and yelled at others to "get the freak out of here." Another witness who provided assistance tells the Daily Astorian that Tanner fought the shark by punching it in the face several times.
Police say Tanner, who was surfing at Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, 80 miles northwest of Portland, was seriously injured, with bites on his upper thigh and lower leg. He was taken by air ambulance to the Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, where he works as a nurse, KATU reports. NBC News notes there have been 27 unprovoked shark attacks recorded in Oregon since 1900, according to the Shark Research Committee. Tanner told rescuers that the "medium-big" shark that attacked him was probably a great white. (Read more shark attack stories.)