SYLVANIA -- A Sylvania man is home tonight after narrowly surviving a shark attack in Hawaii. Harvey Miller of Sylvania was swimming 150 yards off-shore when he came face-to-face with a tiger shark. But despite the attack that nearly killed him, Miller says he's ready to go back in the water.
Miller was snorkeling at the popular Bellows Field Beach Park in windward Oahu. He says he was looking for turtles when his brush with death happened. "I saw the snout of the shark go right by me," said Miller.
He says what followed was a blur. The next thing I remember is I was kind of being pushed out of the water and the body of the shark was right there in front of me, with a dorsal fin," said Miller. He then remembers punching the shark until it swam away. "I started to swim to shore and I was yelling, 'Help!' and 'Shark!'"
That's when a stranger, on the shores of Oahu, jumped in and swam to him. "He's an amazing hero. To come into shark infested water, with blood in the water," said Miller. Harvey says that bravery saved his life, because his leg was too badly hurt to swim.
He spent several days in a Hawaiian hospital. Doctors stitched up the gashes in his leg, and repaired the damage. Part of his calf is missing, and some tendons were cut.
After all of this, Harvey says he doesn't even blame the shark. "The shark was doing what the shark does, it eats," said Miller. "I just happened to be swimming in the wrong spot looking like food."
Since he spent a lot of his vacation in the hospital, he plans to go back to play golf, to watch the sunsets, and even to swim in the ocean again. "I wanted to do some more snorkeling and there was a place with cliff diving that I wanted to do," said Miller.
After hearing there are only three shark attacks near Hawaii each year, he's feeling lucky. "When I got out of the water, I said, 'Go buy me a lottery ticket, because the odds are in my favor today," joked Miller. "So, what are the changes of getting bit twice? That's gotta be even slimmer, so I'm good."
Bellows Field Beach Park employees say there have been no reports of shark attacks there in the last 16 years. The beach was closed for 24 hours right after the attack, and workers posted warning signs along the beach.
The family is grateful for the help they got from rescuers and hospital workers. "Everybody here has been wonderful," said Lisa Miller, Harvey's wife, in a story first reported on wtol.com last week. "We're so thankful for the kindness we've been shown."