Kawika Matsu, 37, from Hawaii, was paddle boarding about 90 metres from shore in English Bay on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean when what he says was a 12-14 foot great white shark knocked him off his board and bit him several times. He suffered severe injuries to his right shoulder, torso and leg.
Bleeding profusely, he managed to get back on the board and wait to be rescued. The island rescue service brought him ashore and he was taken to the local hospital.
His mother was quoted as saying: “As he was trying to get back on the board, that’s when [the shark] came back and got him on the right buttocks and chomped a big portion off and again, a little bit of the thigh.”
He spent several days in the island hospital, before being flown to Florida, United States for further treatment.
His mother said members of the tiny island community donated blood to save Kawika, but, because of the its remote location, it took three days to fly him to a mainland hospital.
His older brother was quoted as saying: “My brother was a strong swimmer. We grew up in Hawaii and are watermen – second generation surfers and very comfortable in the water. He was well aware of the amount of sharks there.”
Daniel Schempp, commander of the US Air Force unit on Ascension was quoted as saying: “He sustained critical bite wounds to his torso and is lucky to be alive, only kept so by the heroics of the small US and UK medical teams on the island, and because of the donated blood supplies of volunteers.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his medical bills.
Dave Peterson, 55, had his board bitten by a shark while Stand-up Paddle Boarding off Kahana Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii. The incident happened at about 7.30 am on Thursday 18 October 2012 about 300 metres off shore.
Peterson said he was waiting for another wave when all of a sudden the shark hit his board and knocked him into the water.
He landed on the shark, hit it with his paddle, and pushed it away. He then crawled back up on his board and never saw it again.
He was quoted as saying: “I was actually mad because I thought it was a friend of mine pushing my board out from underneath me.”
Officials did not identify the shark but reckon it was about 6-8 feet long.
A brief press report says a 15-year-old girl was Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) boarding with friends about 200 metres offshore of Catalina Island off the coast of California, United States, when a shark bit her board several times. She was not injured.
Alaina DeBina was paddle boarding with her 3-year-old grandson looking for turtles when a shark attacked the paddle board
knocking them into the water. Looking at the bite mark on the board experts reckon the shark was around 16-feet long. It was not identified in the report.
She thought she had collided with a turtle, but when she turned around in the water she was face-to-face with the shark.
She managed to hoist her grandson on to the board, climb on the board herself and paddle in. Neither of the two were injured.
She was quoted as saying:
nothing less than a miracle that both of us are fine through this whole thing. I mean, it could have been tragic.”
“It came up and took a taste of my board. It basically chomped on my board. Then it turned around and it was flashing its tail at me. That’s when I was screaming for my husband, ‘Shark, shark.’ I was petrified at that point.”
The incident took place on Sunday 22 May 2001 about 30 feet off Lyman Beach in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.