PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) - Harriet McQuire watched helplessly as her son Tyler McConnell flailed in the water after an apparent shark attack off Orange Beach Tuesday afternoon.
"He was so close to not making it. It is a miracle that he got out of that water," Mcquire said.
"It looked straight like a shark bite, and it felt like one," said McConnell.
McConnell was thrown off his jet ski by a large wave, but his family was there to help.
"I was commanding him with my voice, 'Go! Go! Go! Go!'" said McQuire.
Miraculously, McConnell made it to his watercraft.
"It hurt really bad, but I was toughening myself as hard as I could to get myself to shore."
Harriet followed Tyler on her jet ski, all the while watching torrents of her son's blood pass her.
"It's like somebody cut his leg off. It was flowing like a river down the right side of that jet ski, and I thought, 'He's just not going to make it to shore. He's going to bleed out before he gets there,'" McQuire said.
McConnell did make it to shore where help awaited him. He sustained serious injuries to his foot and ankle, which required a three-hour surgery. Doctors said he will have more procedures and could walk with a permanent limp as a result.
FOX10 News wanted to know exactly what had McConnell in its jaws, so we showed a graphic image of his injury to marine biologist Heather Reed.
"I saw a clean bite, which resembles a bull shark bite. Bull sharks are very clean bites when they strike," Reed said.
Reed said bull sharks are far from uncommon to this area, where warm, murky waters are prevalent.
As for McConnell, his family is happy to report that he's been released from the hospital and is doing just fine.
Reed spent a day surveying Pensacola Bay. In that time, she saw 45 bull sharks roaming the water.
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