Dustin Theobald, 30, had been lying on a surfboard at Fernandina Beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida when he said he felt something pull at his foot.
“I touched its head, I could feel it was rough skin,” he told Fox News, adding: “It wasn’t like a fish skin. You know, shark skin has got a rough edge."
“As soon as I took my first step I could tell that the bottom of my foot was open,” Mr Theobald said as he struggled to get out of the water with his eight-year-old son.
A nurse shark had torn through the tendons on the top of right foot and gashed open the bottom of it.
He told First Coast News he “was trying to usher everyone out, there were a lot of people around me that I felt should probably get out of the water”.
He said there was “a trail of blood all the way up to the lifeguard stand”, describing his injury.
Mr Theobald was rushed to hospital and doctors have told him because of the tendon and nerve damage, he will require two surgery and months of physical therapy in order to fully recover.
According to a crowdfunding page set up by Mr Theobald’s brother, the victim works as a “one man handyman and runs his own business so there will be no income while he [recuperates] for at least six weeks”.
So far, he has raised a little over $3,000 of his $15,000 goal.
Despite the costs and time to recover feeling in his foot, Mr Theobald appeared somewhat optimistic about returning to the beach.
He had written in a Facebook post: “It’s crazy that it happened, on Friday the thirteenth no less, but don’t let this scare you from getting in the water. This is a one and a million thing and i promise you it won’t stop me."
Mr Theobald was not the only shark attack victim at Fernandina Beach that day.
A 17-year-old victim said they suffered a shark bite just one mile along the shore.
The shark also bit into the teenager's foot.
Officials had closed the beach for two days following the attacks.