Shark (Illustration)
Shark (Illustration)Flash 90

"It's called the shark bite diet - you can lose two pounds in three seconds," joked Erik Norrie, as he begins his long road to recovery after surviving a near-fatal shark bite.

Speaking to Fox Tampa, Norrie recalled the harrowing incident in which, he admits, "I really did think I was gonna die."

Erik had been snorkeling and fishing just off the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas with his family, when he says he suddenly felt  "this [crunch] on the back of my leg."

"Just as I looked back, he was just finishing his bite and ripping and swimming off, and you could see a piece of my leg in his mouth," he said.

"My first reaction was, 'Aaaaahh!' And I real quickly flipped my right foot into the shallowest water I could get in and I stood up and picked my leg out of the water."

The shark continued to circle through the pool of blood, as his wife Spryng and their four daughters watched in horror.

Somehow, Erik managed to stay calm enough to tie the rubber bands from his fishing spear around his leg to cut off the blood flow, as his father-in-law jumped in the water to rescue him.

"I didn't keep my head cool, the Lord kept my head cool," he insists, "Because I couldn't have done it without him; he sustained me, kept me calm."

"My daughter, she got on the radio, calling out, 'Help, help, my dad's been attacked by a shark'" said Norrie.

By a miracle, a doctor from San Diego happened to be within 3 minutes of the scene and helped with the rescue, after which Norrie was admitted to Jackson Hospital in Miami.

Norrie is now making an astonishing recovery, but will need multiple skin grafts and still has a long way to go.

And apparently, Erik Norrie is no stranger to animal attacks.

He claims to have been previously struck by lightning, bitten by a rattlesnake and attacked by monkeys - twice.

But despite his apparently "unlucky" experiences, he has a surprisingly optimistic outlook on things, saying that - far from questioning God - he is focusing on thanking Him for surviving. 

"I'm saying 'Thank you'... because I know something great will come from it. And I gotta believe this is part of my journey," he says.