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A woman who almost had her leg bitten off by Shamu the SeaWorld Orca says she thought she was going to drown during the savage attack.
In 1971, when Anne Godsey was just 22-years-old she was involved in an accident with the two-tonne-killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego and barely escaped with her life.
Now 73, Anne said she had only been in the water with the killer whale to promote his arrival at the park – but things had quickly went wrong.
READ MORE: SeaWorld orca dies 'after being bullied by whales in tiny tank for 20 years', say PETA
Shortly after getting into the pool, wearing only a bikini, Anne said she could tell something was wrong as the whale was thrashing around ‘like a ragdoll’.
In terrifying footage, the whale can be seen suddenly making a beeline for Anne, latching on to her leg and dunking her.
As Anne screamed, park staff could only watch on in horror as Shamu dragged her to the bottom of the tank.
Speaking to CBS news, Anne said she expected to die down there.
She explained: “I fell into a trough of the water and she just turned around on a dime and grabbed me in her mouth.
"I was basically sitting on her bottom jaw with the teeth on my thighs. I was hanging onto the top of her head.
“I was so afraid I was going to drown. She would dive and go down and I didn't know how long she would be down there."
Eventually one of the SeaWorld workers was able to extend a pole to Anne which she used to pull herself to the edge of the tank.
A tug of war then ensued between her leg and the whale which the park staff eventually won.
Amazingly Anne says that while the experience was traumatic, she was in no pain at the time, despite needing 200 stitches to close up the punctures the orca had made.
She said: “There was a lot of blood. But there was no pain, the water was cold and I was in shock for quite a while."
Tragically Shamu, the whale responsible, died in captivity just four months after the attack.
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