It sounds like something straight out of a Hollywood movie — a man manages to fight off an attacking shark by punching it — only this time it was real.

UCF student and Phi Delta Theta pledge Josh Green was swimming at Cocoa Beach around 3 p.m. Thursday when what is believed to be a black tip shark attacked and bit him several times.

Josh Green received 18 stitches after an apparent shark bite
Josh Green received 18 stitches after an apparent shark bite

According to Green, he was able to punch the attacking shark to fend it off and swim to shore on his own to get help.

“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 said.


Green was the only person out of his group in the water at the time and says he was relatively close to shore when it happened.

“Everybody wanted to tan so I just went out by myself. I was riding with the waves and body surfing when out of nowhere I feel something grab my leg and yank,” Green said.

That’s when Green says he punched the shark and was able to get free and head to safety.

“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 received a total of 18 stitches in his calf, foot and ankle.

Josh Green received 18 stitches after an apparent shark bite
Josh Green received 18 stitches after an apparent shark bite

“The lifeguard drove me to my friends car and they drove me to the clinic. The doctors that helped me were kind of shocked because they said they had not seen a shark attack in person,” Green said.

While Green said he never actually saw the shark, the lifeguard told him that based on the injuries, the bites looked to be from what was most likely a 4-5 foot black tip shark. He also said that it happened quickly and people didn’t even have a chance to see it happen.

“Now that it’s over, I’m surprised I didn’t scream,” Green said. “I was more in disbelief that it happened. People saw me once I got on shore when my leg was bleeding.”