HERMOSA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A man who was attacked by a shark little more than a month ago, returned to the ocean Saturday to conquer his fears.
It’s an interview that is Only On CBS2.
Joy Benedict was in Hermosa Beach to witness Steven Robles getting back into the water he loves.
It was a beautiful morning with calm waters, Benedict reported, a perfect day for a swim.
Robles shows the large scar — with teeth marks — under his arm and on his torso.
“It looks like a shark bite,” Robles said.
He told Benedict that the decision wasn’t an easy one to return to the ocean but one he knew he should make.
“I woke up early just having this on my mind like wow — I’m really gonna go back out there?”
Robles joined his swimming buddies — to swim from Hermosa Beach to the Manhattan Pier.
It’s a swim he’s done countless times, but the last time he was in the Pacific — six weeks ago to the day — he found anything but peace.
With complete candor, he told Benedict his blood pressure was going up a bit.
“I’m a little nervous,” Robles said, “I’ll be honest. I am!”
Watching TV hasn’t helped much take his mind off his attack.
“On the news a couple days ago, there was a big shark swimming close to another swimmer, so that doesn’t make it much easier,” Robles said.
On the plus side, shark attacks are rare and Robles knows the chances of him getting attacked again are very slim.
“It’s just the first time going back after the accident,” he acknowledges he’s flooded with anxiety.
After calming his nerves, Benedict said Robles put on his goggles and slowly walked into the ocean.
He definitely took a moment and paused, but then he jumped right in.
“I don’t want this to stop me from doing what it is I love to do,” he explained.
About an hour later, two miles up the coast, Robles could be seen — yellow cap bobbing up and down — neared the pier.
When he made it, there were hugs from well-wishers and friends.
Also, there was admiration from people who appreciated his courage for going back in and so soon.
“Awww,” he said, “it felt good. That swim felt really good.”
After the swim, he told Benedict that the swim went pretty smoothly until he got within sight of the pier when the memories of the attack came flooding back.
“Rounding the pier that’s where I got bit by the shark so I was nervous and wanted to swim really fast,” Robles said.
Robles said there will be less fear tomorrow and for subsequent swims. He plans to keep on coming back to the water he loves.