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Survivor of apparent great white attack hopes to return to ocean some day

Chris Myers said it may be some time before he goes back into the ocean.

Myers, who was bitten in the waters off Ballston Beach in Truro on Monday by what the state’s top shark scientist believes was a great white shark, told “Good Morning America” on Wednesday that “it will take some gentle effort to get back in the water, but I hope one day.’’

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Myers’s encounter makes him one of the few shark attack victims in Massachusetts since a teenager was killed in 1936.

Myers was swimming about 400 yards off the beach with his teenage son when he was bitten on both legs, but he managed to swim to shore.

He was taken to Cape Cod Hospital and then transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he is recovering.

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His son, J.J., also appeared on the ABC network show and said the attack seemed unreal.

“I heard him scream and turned around, and saw the back and the fin of the shark up out of water,” he said.

‘In all likelihood, these injuries can be attributed to a great white shark. ’

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“At that point it hit me, when it was happening. But at the same time, I thought that none of it was real.

“It really seemed like a movie. None of it seemed real until I was on the beach.”

Myers said he struggled getting to shore, and worried about blood loss.

“We really didn’t have a lot of options,” Myers said in the television interview. “We were motivated, so we swam, hard. I was thinking as I was swimming, my lungs were fine, my kick was fine, I was starting to feel kind of dizzy and wondering if I was losing blood. My concern was that I wouldn’t make it back to shore, but we were able to do it.”

At a Boston press conference on Tuesday, the state’s top shark scientist said he is more than 90 percent sure that the attack was from a great white.

“In all likelihood, these injuries can be attributed to a great white shark,’’ said Greg Skomal, a senior scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

“While the last confirmed injury caused by a white shark in Massachusetts occurred in 1936, the weight of evidence — including eyewitness sighting of a fin, the presence of seals, and the extent of injury — points to a white shark.’’

Despite the fact that great white shark attacks are not common in Massachusetts, Myers urged swimmers to take caution.

“I’ve been swimming at that beach since I was a little kid, and no one in recent memory has ever had a shark attack, let alone by a great white, which they are saying they think it was,” he told ABC. “Maybe people need to be a little more careful.”

Truro’s assistant beach administrator Hannah Gonsalves said Wednesday that there have been no shark sightings since Monday’s attack.

Melissa Werthmann can be reached at melissa.werthmann@globe.com.
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