Maybe Stay Indoors? Man Bitten By Shark, Bear And Snake In The Space Of Four Years
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They say once bitten, twice shy. It's a phrase to which most of us can relate. But not Dylan McWilliams, a man who is now thrice bitten and far from shy as he still ventures out into the wilderness for extended adventures whenever he gets the chance.
Last week, Dylan was bitten by a shark while out surfing near a Hawaii beach, which is shocking enough in itself. However, when you learn that this was just the most recent of three near-deadly scrapes with various toothy animals, you begin to wonder how the guy still has the stones to leave his house at all.
The 20-year-old outdoorsman has previously been savaged by a bear, bitten by a venomous snake and, given his chirpy demeanour about the whole thing, he's probably quite chuffed to now be able to add 'chomped by a shark' to his growing list of predator-related mishaps.
So, what is it about this man that keeps seeing him used as a fleshy chew toy for deadly beasts?
"I don't know," Dylan told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. "I'm either really lucky or really unlucky."
It's no wonder he's found himself face-to-face with nature's killers on more than two occasions, though. After all, as a former tree trimmer, ranch hand, survival training instructor and all-round adventurer, the Colorado LAD is in the great outdoors more often than most.
He had been backpacking around Kauai, a picturesque island in the Hawaii archipelago when, despite brown water warnings, the desire to surf overcame him.
Dylan took his boogie board down to the only stretch of coastline on the island without the warnings and hopped in to catch a few waves.
It was when he was knocked from his board in about 15ft of water that he felt a searing pain ripple through his left leg.
"At first, I panicked," he said. "I didn't know if I lost half my leg or what."
He said that he spotted a six-to-eight-foot tiger shark circling below him and so frantically began swimming back to shore, praying the predator would leave him be.
"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.
Dylan hauled himself onto the beach and a woman rushed to his aid. As he sat there dripping with blood, he realised how much worse his injuries could've been and that he had been very, very lucky.
Shortly after, he was whisked away to hospital where he was given seven stitches.
This was the second time in 12 months that the 20-year-old had required hospital treatment for a bite wound. The first was in July of last year.
Dylan had been sleeping outside with other staff members while working at a summer camp near Ward in Colorado.
That's until he was rudely awoken by a 280-pound black bear which proceeded to clamp its teeth into the back of his head and drag him 12 feet away from the camp.
He says he was woken up by the crunching sound of his own skull and started throwing punches and making a fuss as the bear tried to drag him away.
Then he began poking the animal in the eyes.
"He dropped me as soon as I did that," he said. The bear stomped on him and finally went away as other camp staffers came to the rescue and scared it off.
"If I push on the back of my head, it still hurts a little bit," he added.
Rewind a further three-and-a-half years and Dylan was out hiking a canyon in Moab, Utah when he was bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake.
However, as luck would have it, it was just a dry bite and carried only enough venom to make him ill for a couple of days.
"My parents are grateful I'm still alive," he said.
Maybe stay inside for a bit, Dylan?