INJURED – 9 September 2008 – Kahana Bay, Ka’a’awa, Oahu, Hawaii – surfer attacked
Todd Murashige, 40, suffered deep lacerations right round his right thigh after he was bitten by a shark while sitting on his surfboard in Kahana Bay, Ka’a’awa Oahu, Hawaii, on 9 September 2008.
He told media that he put his fingers in the shark’s mouth to pry himself free from its jaws and that the shark took no further interest in him after that.
"I didn’t see it at all. It just seemed so surreal, like it wasn’t real, just head of a shark right there in my lap," he said.
"I stuck my fingers into his mouth to try to pry him off, but I didn’t feel any teeth. I think I was grabbing onto his gums or the lip part," he said.
Murashige said the shark didn’t pursue him, and thinks it was a test bite, "because he never came back to me, and really aggressively never really bit me and shook me. He just took a test bite and it wasn’t too good tasting."
After freeing himself, Murashige managed to get back to shore on his board, which was missing a piece from the bite, by paddling and catching a wave. He also had the help of a fellow surfer who staunched the bleeding until paramedics arrived.
Once on solid ground, a towel was used to tie off the wounded thigh and a call was placed to 911.
"While I was lying on the shore, I thought I was going to black out," Murashige said. "I told myself if I black out, I’m going to die. That’s what I really felt in my gut, so I called my wife and I called my mom."
Murashige was taken to Queen’s Medical Center.
Since he didn’t see the shark’s body, Murashige said he didn’t know what kind it was or how big it was. But based on the size of its head — Murashige raised his hands about the width of his shoulders — he suspects it was a tiger shark.
Murashige lost a lot of blood, with the wound going almost all around the thigh, but there were no broken bones and his prognosis is good.