September 7, 2015 9:26 AM EDT

A California man who was bitten by a hammerhead shark says he has a newfound appreciation for the animal and that he would “never” describe the encounter as an attack.

29-year-old Dylan Marks was kayaking near Malibu, Calif., and fishing for sharks when he caught hold of a 10-foot hammerhead, ABC News reports. The shark, however, latched onto his foot, which was hanging over the side of his boat.

“I was scared when I saw the tendons and stuff exposed, but I was like, I’ve got to wrap this up and get to shore,” he said. “It got scared, and it thrashed around, and I was in the way.”

He was airlifted to the hospital after flagging down a fishing boat that rescued him. Shark encounters are typically rare in the region.

“I’m not shark fishing anymore,” he said. “I really respect them and this has kind of brought that to light.”




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