A YOUNG South African actor took up surfing - after having his leg bitten off by a great white shark.
Caleb Swanepoel, 26, of Cape Town, South Africa, was only 20 when his life changed forever.
Bodysurfing in the sea with his brother Sandy during a family holiday in Buffalo Bay, Caleb was attacked by a great white, which pulled him underwater and severed his right leg above the knee.
Caleb said: “I felt this thing slam into me and I was pulled under the water.
I had an out of body experience, I felt like it was a dream.
I didn't think I was going to make it.” The great white returned - biting through the rubber tip of Sandy’s flipper but leaving his actual foot unscathed.
Caleb was able to get to shore with the help of Sandy before collapsing in his mother’s arms and being airlifted to hospital, where he made a lightning-fast recovery.
Caleb stood up using a walker after 4 or 5 days before progressing to crutches - and went back in the water only a month after his accident.
Caleb decided to take up surfing after his accident, using a prosthetic that locks into his surfboard.
He was invited to the first ever South African Adaptive Surfing Championships, winning his category and earning a spot to represent South Africa at the World Adaptive Surfing Games.
Caleb said: “Something I take away from my shark attack is to value what you’ve been given.
I think a lot of the time we take for granted our bodies, I want to show people that your disability doesn’t define you - it’s just part of you.”