Being lucky in unlucky situations seem to be just the way for Dylan McWilliams. The young outdoorsman Dylan McWilliams has survived three attacks with the animal kingdom – bitten by a shark, mauled by a bear and bitten by a rattlesnake – all in just less than three years. Last Thursday, Dylan was attacked by a shark while body boarding off the coast of Hawaii. He was enjoying the Pacific waves on Thursday morning when he felt something hit his leg.
He explained to BBC, “I saw the shark underneath me. I started kicking at it – I know I hit it at least once and swam to shore as quickly as I could.” He further said, “It’s kind of crazy. I don’t seem to have a lot of luck but it’s kind of lucky in unlucky situations.” The shark, believed to be a tiger shark between six to eight feet, left distinctive teeth marks in Dylan’s leg that needed seven stitches. Worried about the trail of blood he was leaving, he told local media after the attack, “I didn’t know if I lost half my leg or what.” Dylan called his parents soon after the paramedics saw to his injury and said he doesn’t know if they want him doing all this stuff, but he believes they support him.
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The outdoor enthusiast from Grand Junction in western Colorado has been backpacking across the US and Canada for the past few years, funding his travels with odd jobs working as a ranch hand and even as a survival training instructor. His love for outdoors began at a young age of three or four and learned the survival techniques from his grandfather. He was putting those survival skills to use on a camping trip in Colorado last July, when he was woken up at 4am to find his head being clamped in the jaws of a bear. He escaped by poking the bear in its eye. Park authorities caught the bear and found Dylan’s blood under the bear’s claws and the put the animal down. It took nine staples to the back of his head to close his wounds.
And this brings us to Dylan’s arguably least deadly run-in three years ago. When Dylan was just 17-years-old he was attacked by a rattlesnake during a hiking trip in Utah. “I was walking down a trail and I thought I kicked a cactus but couldn’t see one and then saw a rattlesnake all coiled up,” he said. Dylan didn’t go to the hospital because he figured he had only suffered a dry bite. “There was a little venom, so I did get a bit sick for a couple of days,” said the aspiring police officer.
But none of these deadly attacks have hindered his love for animals and his passion for backpacking. He attributes these dangerous incidents to just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and said, “I’ve always loved animals and spent as much time with them as I could. I don’t blame the shark, I don’t blame the bear and I don’t blame the rattlesnake.” Dylan McWilliams is now impatient for his wounds to heal so he can get back on to the surf. Despite his run of bad luck, he encourages everyone to experience the outdoors. “I still go hiking, I still catch rattlesnakes and I will still swim in the ocean.”