Shark attacks Hawaii paddler after knocking him off board; injuries are severe

Shark attacks Hawaii paddler after knocking him off board; injuries are severe

Outdoors

Shark attacks Hawaii paddler after knocking him off board; injuries are severe

A 25-year-old Hawaii man who was attacked by a shark while standup paddling alongside his father Saturday morning remains hospitalized in critical condition.

According to detailed reports that emerged late Sunday, the paddler fell after a 12-foot tiger shark bumped his board at 9:30 a.m. about 150 yards beyond Kukio Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Tiger shark image is generic, via Wikipedia

The shark then bit the paddler, causing severe injuries to his right-side extremities.

Screams were heard from the beach and a rescue team aboard a four-man canoe hurried to the scene and ultimately delivered the man to shore.

“The bystanders and staff there at Kukio did a wonderful job and applied some tourniquets before EMS arrived,” Fire Capt. Michael Grace told KHON 2.

Hawaii News Now reports that during the rescue a lifeguard aboard a personal watercraft was sent to distract the shark, which was still circling the area.

The unidentified victim, a resident of a private Kukio Beach community, was airlifted to North Hawaii Community Hospital. He was later flown to Queens Medical Center on Oahu. (Hawaii News Now reports that he lost part of his right leg during the attack.)

Kukio beaches were closed until late Sunday morning.

This marks the first known shark attack off the Big Island since 2015.

The state of Hawaii is second to Florida in the number of unprovoked attacks by sharks on humans. According to the Washington Post, 65 attacks occurred in Hawaii waters between 2007 and 2016.

Tiger sharks, which can measure to about 16 feet, have been implicated in most attacks in Hawaii’s waters.

Swimmers and surfers are advised to avoid entering the ocean at dawn or dusk – tiger sharks are largely nocturnal feeders – and to avoid swimming or surfing alone.

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