Experienced surfer Adam Coons' 45-minute surf session had a nearly disastrous end. Coons was attacked by a suspected 15-foot long great white shark. He managed to escape the shark and get back to his friend, Jeremy Howard. who administered first aid. Coast guard airlifted Coons to an airbase from where he was taken to a hospital. Coons not only survived the attack; his injuries were not grave.

The father-of-one had gone for a surf session near Santa Rosa Island, California on December 21. He describes the shark attack as being hit by a torpedo. Coons felt the shark grab onto him, thrashing him, and pulling him under the water. Coons managed to escape from the shark's grasp and swim back to the boat his friend was on. Coons told the media that when he got bitten by the shark, he had an adrenaline rush which prevented him from feeling the pain of the bite.

Howard describes seeing the attack and feeling helpless. He said that he saw the shark launch his friend into the air as great white sharks often do with their prey. Howard kept shouting at Coons to swim back to the boat once he managed to free himself from the shark.

great white shark
surfer survives suspected great white shark attack. Kathryn Curzon

Once on the boat, Howard tourniquet Coons' leg preventing him from bleeding out while they waited for the Coast Guard to arrive.

Once the Coast Guard arrived, they airlifted Coons to Santa Barbara Airport. Emergency services took Coons to a local hospital from the airport. He received treatment for the four lacerations he received on his right leg.

Coons told ABC News that he was grateful he survived the horrific attack. Coons pointed out that so many people are not lucky enough to return to their families after such an encounter. The spiritual man believes that his survival was a "Christmas miracle." Coons pointed out that Howard was a fisherman and a former lifeguard. Had Howard not been with Coons he might have bled to death. Coons also thanked the Coast Guard for their swift action.

The shark attack survivor will be spending Christmas at home with his family. Coons is unsure when he would be able to return to the water. He cautioned surfers to not go out on the waters alone for their own safety.