Underwatertimes.com News Service - December 26, 2005 00:00 EST
brian anderson

Brian Anderson punched a shark in the nose to escape its grip. (ABCNEWS.com)

Brian Anderson, 31, was surfing off the coast of Northern Oregon Saturday when a great white shark attacked him.

As he was paddling, Anderson said he felt something grab his leg. Without thinking, he punched the big shark in the nose.

"That's all I could think to do, and after I did that, it let go," Anderson said. "And I wanted to get to shore as soon as I could. The thought crossed my mind that I might not make it back in and it was just pretty hectic."

Anderson credits his experience as a surfer and shark television shows with helping him keep his presence of mind.

"I acted on instinct," he said.

Anderson then paddled to shore, where bystanders said they saw a puddle of blood dripping from his leg.

Before heading to the hospital with a fellow surfer, Anderson tied his surfboard leash tightly around his shin to prevent blood loss.

Still hospitalized, he is expected to make a full recovery and will probably surf again.

"I'll go back out, eventually," he said. "It probably will be awhile. I'm grateful I made it back in and there was definitely somebody watching out after me that day."