15-year-old Boy Scout recounts terrifying moment he was bitten by shark off Catalina Island

CATALINA ISLAND, Calif. -- The teen Boy Scout who survived a shark bite while he was canoeing with his troop off Catalina Island is speaking out about the terrifying moment in an exclusive interview.

Eddie Cahill is awaiting surgery on his hand after the incident.

On Wednesday, the 15-year-old was preparing to canoe near Parsons Landing along the island with his Boy Scout Troop. In the canoe were 11 others, including Cahill's two younger brothers and father.

"We were falling a bit behind the other group so we decided we would cut through a kelp patch, while everyone else kind of went...around the larger kelp patch," he said.

Cahill was sitting in front paddling when they thought they hit a rock.

"I was on my down stroke with my paddle, so much closer to the water, when the shark came up and hit my hand."

EMBED More News Videos

A boy who was part of a Boy Scouts camp at Catalina Island was bitten on the hand by a shark while kayaking on Wednesday, officials said.

When he lost his paddle and looked down to see where it went, he instead saw his hand covered in blood.

As an experienced Boy Scout, Cahill didn't panic. He was concerned for the other boys in the canoe, as was his father sitting in the back.

"Eddie knows first aid from Boy Scouts and so he knew to apply pressure. He applied pressure immediately," said Daniel Cahill, the teen's dad. "It wasn't until I got to shore that I realized how bad his wound was."

The Riverside teen was airlifted to the hospital and made a call to his mother on the way.

"It took at least five times of them telling me before I even believed them, like you didn't get bit by a shark in a canoe, that's silly," said Denise Cahill.

Despite the ordeal, Cahill considers himself lucky.

"I was lucky in the regard of not losing my entire hand, or even a finger, it just kind of lacerated the entire top of my hand."

MORE | How to know if you're swimming near a shark
EMBED More News Videos

The average number of bites off the North Carolina coast is one to two per year. Here are several ways you can spot a shark in the water.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.