Shark attack victim Leeanne Ericson speaks out for first time, dug at shark’s eye to escape – Orange County Register

Leeanne Ericson, who was attacked by a shark at San Onofre State Beach.

It felt like she was digging out of a cup of Jell-O.

Leeanne Ericson described the moments after a 10-foot shark bit her at San Onofre State Beach on April 29, dragging her under the water’s surface, and how she dug into what she think was the shark’s eye to escape, she told “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired Friday morning.

Ericson has been quiet about the incident, and the GMA interview is her first appearance on camera for the San Diego woman and mother of three.

Her boyfriend, identified only as Rusty, recalled it being “a beautiful day, sun was shining, dolphins were jumping out of the water,” he said.

He held up a tattered wetsuit, a souvenir from that dreadful day meant as a day to celebrate a family member’s birthday.

“That’s all that was left,” he said.

Rusty recalled turning around and trying to paddle for a wave.

“Leeanne screams behind me,” he said.

“I felt it grab me and pull me down,” she said.

The single mother thought about her kids and Rusty and then tried to push the shark off her.

“I just started digging. I felt like I was digging a cup of Jell-O,” she said.

That was the shark’s eye, the interviewer asked.

“That’s what we assume,” Rusty said.

He recalled seeing Ericson “completely gray in color that looked like she was already dead.”

San Onofre State Beach was closed after a woman was attacked by a shark in the area Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Nothing was said about her swift rescue by people on the beach, but in a previous interview by the Orange County Register, a group of people in the water, including a San Clemente man training to be an EMT, recalled trying to save Ericson’s life.

The incident at Church surf beach off Camp Pendleton was the second major shark attack in a one-year span, with a swimmer bit in 2016 on Memorial Day. Both were lucky to survive, but…

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