MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida surfer is telling his story after he survived an encounter with a shark.
Chucky Luciano-Nahed has spent his life surfing. He has even made a career out of it, serving as a surfing instructor on Miami Beach.
However, Luciano-Nahed encountered danger while surfing on New Smyrna Beach, Sunday. Luciano-Nahed said he came face to face with a five-foot bull shark.
“I was eye-level with the shark, and it took a surreal moment, like you don’t believe it’s really happening to you,” Luciano-Nahed said.
Luciano-Nahed said he had to fight off the shark, and if he didn’t it would have killed him.
“You have to fight. You don’t have an option. You can’t just stay there, wait to see what happens,” he said. “I punched him with the right hand, and he came back again, and just kept doing circles around me, and that’s when I was talking to the shark like, ‘Please, shark, leave me alone. You already attacked me, just go away.’ I started thinking of my family and my friends.”
The shark did not go away. The bull shark’s razor-like teeth sunk into Luciano-Nahed’s hands several times. He was covered in blood. His shirt tells the story of this violent struggle.
Luciano-Nahed said he didn’t know whether he was going to survive. However, he proved to be successful. “The message is that we have our family, and we can’t give up. Even things like this that happen to us, it could always be worse,” he said.
Luciano-Nahed was able to paddle back to shore where his friends stayed with him before he went to the hospital, where he then got reconstructive surgery on his left hand.
However, the encounter with the shark has left Luciano-Nahed with mental and emotional scars. “It was very evil, very aggressive,” he said. “Last night, when I was in bed, I woke up from a shake. I thought I was fighting him off of me.”
Luciano-Nahed is not sure how he managed to survive. “I think I still have a purpose here,” he said.
Luciano-Nahed’s medical expenses have climbed as a result of his injuries. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help gather funds to cover costs. If you would like to donate, go to www.gofundme.com/chocolupo.
Copyright 2016 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.