Dylan McWilliams is either the unluckiest guy in the world – or the luckiest. We still aren’t sure, and neither is he.
“I don’t know, I think [I’m] just lucky in unlucky situations,” said the 20-year old from Grand Junction on Sunday.
McWilliams is currently in Hawaii, for what was supposed to be a two-week long vacation full of beach time and surfing. On Thursday, he said he paddled out into the waters off the south shore of Kauai, then something hit his leg.
“I was looking around and saw a lot of blood and I saw a shark underneath me,” he said. “I started kicking at it… and swam as fast as I can to shore.”
He was several dozen yards out from the beach and by himself. Other surfers were in the water a distance away.
“The scariest part was just swimming back,” he said.
After the bite, he couldn’t find the shark in the water but was nervous it could be nearby. He said it looked about 6 or 7 feet long. There’s blood behind me and I didn’t really... know where [the shark] was.”
When he finally made it back to shore, McWilliams said a woman on the beach helped him contact emergency officials for medical help, and notify other people in the water. Dylan ended up with seven stitches to close up the wounds in his leg.
And this wasn’t his first brush with Mother Nature’s dangerous side.
Last summer, Dylan worked an instructor teaching survival skills at a camp in Boulder County. While sleeping one night, a bear showed up at his campsite.
“And then it pulled me into its mouth and then it grabbed me with its teeth right back here,” he said at the time, showing 9NEWS his injuries. “When it pulled, it tore the skin and scraped along my skull which was like the cracking noise that I heard.”
“A lot of people don’t believe it, they’re like – that’s crazy,” McWiliams said Sunday. “How does that happen to one person? Like, that rarely, rarely happens to anyone, and -- the same person twice.”
There’s still more.
A few years ago, McWilliams said he was hiking in Utah when another animal bit him.
“I got a dry-bite from a rattlesnake. It didn’t give me much venom, but I got a little bit to make me sick,” he said.
Despite the close calls, he said he is not afraid of wildlife. Rather, he loves it. McWilliams considers the late Steve Irwin one of his idols.
“Ever since I can remember, that’s all I wanted to be,” he said, referring to Irwin's work with animals. “I’m out with the animals all the time. To me, it’s like, I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time.”
McWilliams is stuck on the beach for a few more days until his wounds heal, but he’s ready to get back in the water and still get some surfing done before he leaves Hawaii.
“I’m just hanging in a hammock,” he said. “I’ve been camping here on the beach, counting the days until I can get in the water!”