'Jackass' star's emotional return to Shark Week after gruesome attack: 'I thought I was gonna die'

One year after suffering a gruesome shark bite, Jackass stuntman Sean McInerney, commonly known as Poopies, returned to the water to face his fears. During Sunday’s special to kick off Shark Week, the stuntman opened up about the terrifying experience.

“I thought I was gonna die in front of my friends,” McInerney said, while fighting back tears. “Um, that's pretty heavy.”

While performing a stunt for last year’s Shark Week, McInerney was bitten on the hand and wrist, severing multiple tendons, ligaments and muscles. He has undergone multiple surgeries and attends physical therapy twice a week. However, he still does not have full use of his injured hand.

To get over his understandable new phobia of sharks, he decided to dive with them again.

“It's really important for me to get over that fear, 'cause I don't want that accident to stop me from doing what I love,” said McInerney, “I love the ocean, and I love surfing. I'm never gonna stop.”

With his friends and colleagues diving next to him, McInerney swam with sharks in open waters. While he admitted the experience was a “little scary” and “nerve-wracking,” he seemed relieved to have shared a bite-free moment with the impressive hunters.

“Holy moly, I did it,” exclaimed McInerney, as he surfaced from his dive. “You definitely have to have respect for those sharks. I feel a lot better, I don't have fear of dying when I'm next to sharks anymore... now I can go surf and water ski big waves!”

Shark Week runs throughout the week. For more information visit

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