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EUREKA, Calif. - A California surfer who survived a shark attack says he punched the beast in the head until it finally released him.

Scott Stephens says the great white pulled him underwater Tuesday at a popular surf spot off the coast of Eureka and let him go only after receiving the blows to its head.

Doctors say Stephens suffered at least seven deep lacerations, but none of his vital organs was damaged. He was in fair condition Wednesday when he talked about the ordeal with reporters.

The 25-year-old thanked the doctors who operated on him and strangers who came to his aid. He says he plans to surf again.

Stephens' news conference was reported by the Eureka Times-Standard.

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