Nearly one year after Dylan McWilliams woke up to a bear chewing on his head, he was bitten by a shark off the coast of Kauai.
Dylan McWilliams is no stranger to terrifying, near-death wildlife encounters. The 20-year-old man from Grand Junction, Colo., was bitten by a rattlesnake three years ago and by a bear last year. Yes, seriously. But most recently, McWilliams had a frightening shark encounter.
On April 19, McWilliams was boogie boarding in Kauai when he caught a wave about 30 yards from shore and was knocked off his board. He felt a searing pain in his right calf, looked down, and saw what appeared to be a 6- to 8-foot tiger shark.
“At first I panicked,” he told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.”
A first-hand shark encounter is an incredible tale from anyone, but from someone who has also been attacked by a bear and a rattlesnake? What cologne is this guy using?!
Shark Attack in Kauai
McWilliams was looking for surf after a brown water advisory left some of the coast off limits for recreation. Brown water, caused by torrential storms and flooding, lures sharks into the area hoping for an easy meal.
He found a spot of coast that wasn’t under advisory and hopped into the water, itching to catch some waves. It was 7:30 a.m. when he caught his first wave – and the shark’s attention.
Immediately after the attack, McWilliams swam to shore, spilling blood behind him as he paddled.
“That was the scariest part. I didn’t know where the shark was, and I didn’t know if he would come after me again,” he said.
On the beach, paramedics arrived and rushed him to a hospital, where he received seven stitches. He shared photos of the bite on social media.
Man Survives Bear, Rattlesnake, and Shark Attacks
McWilliams is no stranger to animal bites. Last July, he had the horrific experience of waking up to a bear attack.
If you think a rustle outside the tent in the middle of the night is spooky, imagine a crunching noise from a bear chewing on your skull. He received nine staples in his scalp after a bear attacked and dragged him 10–12 feet in the middle of the night.
But, even after a terrifying experience like that, McWilliams still felt confident sleeping outside as a survival instructor at the camp where he taught.
As for the rattlesnake bite, he was hiking in Moab, Utah, when a pygmy faded rattlesnake surprised him. He experienced a dry bite that made him ill for a day or two.
Normally, we’re advocates for experiencing the great outdoors. But maybe in McWilliams’ case it’s time to find some new hobbies. Something safer, like reading or needlepoint.
But he’s clearly keeping positive: