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Originally published November 1, 2012 at 7:05 AM | Page modified November 1, 2012 at 3:05 PM

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2 Californians punch sharks to save themselves

Two Californians say they survived separate shark attacks over the past few days by punching the beast in the head.

The Associated Press

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EUREKA, Calif. —

Two Californians say they survived separate shark attacks over the past few days by punching the beast in the head.

Scott Stephens, of Manilla, says a great white pulled him underwater Tuesday at a popular surf spot off the coast of Eureka and let him go only after receiving the blows.

Doctors say Stephens suffered lacerations, but none of his vital organs was damaged. He talked about the ordeal Wednesday at a news conference reported by the Eureka Times-Standard ( http://bit.ly/ScsMHU).

Mariko Haugen, of Folsom, tells News10 ( http://on.news10.net/TYY61W) she was swimming with her husband off Maui, Hawaii, over the weekend when she encountered a tiger shark.

She says her martial arts training prepared her and she punched it twice.

Haugen was not bitten but did require stitches for some scratches.

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