COCOA BEACH, Fla., May 11 (UPI) — A University of Central Florida student said he only needed 18 stitches after warding off a shark attack by punching the predator in the face.

Josh Green said he was swimming about 3 p.m. Thursday at Cocoa Beach when he felt something grab onto his ankle.

“I didn’t realize it was a shark until I punched it, thinking it was someone messing with me and then felt the face,” Green told student newspaper Knight News.

Green said his punch caused the shark to release its grip.

“When I hit it, my foot was sort of released, and I just swam to shore as fast as possible. I limped out over to my friends and they brought me up to the lifeguard,” Green said.

Green said he received 18 stitches for cuts to his ankle and the surrounding area.

Lifeguards said the injuries were likely from a four- to five-foot-long blacktip shark.

Source: upi