October 24, 2013
Surfer Punches Tiger Shark in the Eye to Reclaim Surfboard
By Phil Bourjaily
Photo by Leah Fitch
Jeff Horton, a 25-year-old former boxer, fought off a tiger shark in the surf off Kauai, Hawaii, when it attacked his board. Horton was sitting on his board with his feet over the sides when the shark, which was estimated as a 12-footer, attacked. The impact rolled Horton off the board and onto the shark’s back. With “flight” not being an option, Horton chose “fight.” Holding onto a fin with one hand, he punched the shark several times and landed one good shot to the eye that made it release his board.
The shark followed Horton as he paddled into shore but didn’t attack again. On the beach a tourist gave Horton $50 and told him to go get drunk. He plans to hang his shark-bitten board on the wall but he is not going to give up surfing.