California man survives shark attack by reportedly punching predator 'inside its mouth'

The victim had to have surgery after suffering injuries to his torso, left arm and hand

A California man, who was bitten multiple times by a shark while swimming near San Diego, recalled "tussling" with the predator and punching it inside its mouth, according to a report. 

Caleb Adams, 46, recalled his near-death experience in Del Mar, California, on June 2, sharing that he was swimming alongside 18 other swimmers who regularly train at the Pacific Ocean beach when he felt "a strong hit to my body."

"I knew I had been hit by a shark. I tussled with the animal for what was seconds," he told NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz.

The swimmer said that he repeatedly punched the shark "inside its mouth," recalling that he felt the predator's "softer tissue."


A great white shark swims

A great white shark swims in the waters off of California.  (Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

"The second time I struck the animal and I felt a softer tissue," he said. "I am going to speculate that that was inside the shark’s mouth. And I had several cuts on my hand and wrist."


Fellow club member, Kevin Barrett, heard Caleb's screams for help and rushed in to assist.

"You know that’s a real scream," Barrett said.

Beach closure sign

The Del Mar beach was closed for 48 hours following the shark attack on June 2. (City of Del Mar)

Barrett said that when he was pulling Adams to shore, he saw his blood "pouring out of his chest."

"When I was swimming him in, the blood was just pouring out of his chest," Barrett said.

Great white shark in the ocean

A great white shark swimming in the ocean (iStock)

Following the attack, Adams underwent surgery and was back at home recovering by June 6.

In a statement, the City of Del Mar said that Adams' suffered injuries to his torso, left arm and hand from shark bites. They said that the attack happened about 100 yards offshore.

The California city did not specify what type of shark attacked Adams.

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