Elyse Frankcom is one of the lucky ones.
The 19-year-old ocean tour guide was saved from a shark attack in Australia last weekend when a stranger grabbed the animal's tail and forced it to release its grip.
Frankcom was left with two giant bite marks, 200 stitches on her left leg and buttock and undying gratitude for Trevor Burns, a guest on her swim-with-the-dolphins tour, who had been snorkeling near Frankcom when the attack occurred.
"I felt the force of being kind of pulled to the side … and then I looked and saw a grey figure in front of me," Frankcom told the Sunday Times in Perth. "I felt me inside its mouth – it was horrifying. There is a lot of people that don't make it and a lot of people don't survive."
Frankcom later thanked Burns in an emotional reunion. "Thank you so much, thank you so much ... my hero," she said, embracing him. "Anytime, okay?" he replied.