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Originally published July 22, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 22, 2007 at 2:03 AM

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Shark attacks lawyer off Oahu

All the way back to shore after an 8-foot tiger shark chomped into his left leg, Harvey Miller thought he might die. "I just remember saying...

The Associated Press

HONOLULU — All the way back to shore after an 8-foot tiger shark chomped into his left leg, Harvey Miller thought he might die.

"I just remember saying, 'Oh God, not like this; no way,' " Miller said Friday, a day after the animal attacked him off Oahu's Bellows Beach.

The shark attacked the 36-year-old attorney from Toledo, Ohio, in an area not known for shark attacks. The last such incident in that area dates back almost 50 years, the state's Shark Task Force said.

The father of four was snorkeling about 450 feet from shore when he noticed that fish near him looked spooked.

Then he saw a shark's flat snout and felt the animal spin him around.

Miller said he punched the shark twice below its dorsal fin, scaring it away.

Then Miller started yelling for help and headed for shore.

A day later, he was sitting in a hospital wheelchair, tired and nauseated from the pain medicine, but grateful for his doctor's estimate that he should be walking in a few months and hopefully playing basketball with his teenage son within a year.

"I'm happy — one, to be alive and two, that I don't anticipate ... losing the leg," he said.

Miller said a stranger helped save him by wading into the ocean to answer his cries for help.

"He's my hero. I would not have made it out of the water without his assistance. I owe my life to that man," Miller said.

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