INJURED – 19 October 2009 – Kalama Bowls, Maui, Hawaii – surfer attacked

shark_henrich_maui Scott Henrich, 54, suffered deep lacerations on the front of his upper right thigh and the lower part of his right ankle was bitten by what is believed to be a 6-8 foot tiger shark while surfing at Kalama Bowls, south Maui. The attack happened before dawn on Monday 19 October.

Henrich said he did not know what kind of shark bit him or its length, but it “was big enough”. He said its head was about 2 feet wide.

Henrich said he was only in the water two to three minutes a little after 6am and was about 100 metres offshore when the shark bit him. It clamped down on his right thigh and knee and part of his surfboard.

“I hit it a couple of times on top of the nose, and it swam away,” Henrich said.

A man on a surf ski helped him to shore where he managed to flag down the driver of a passing car who called 911. Bystanders wrapped his wound with t-shirts to stem the bleeding.

“You’re out there in the food chain, and sooner or later like anything, your number’s up,” he said. “I’m not going to hold it against the shark. It’s just bad luck. … I was in the wrong spot. I was in his breakfast area.”

“The radius of the shark bite was 25 inches, so the bite marks are consistent with a possible tiger shark,” Archie Kalepa, ocean safety supervisor on Maui, told media.

He said there was only one other person out with him, a man on a surf ski. Henrich was sitting on his board, waiting to catch his first wave, when the shark hit.

“Its head came up and he was on me. I never saw it coming,” he said.

Henrich punched the shark on the snout and it released its grip and swam away. He all he could think about at that point was survival.

“There was blood everywhere. I looked at the top gash and saw white meat and I knew it was bad. I was worried there might be other sharks around, and I knew I had to get it up and get out of the water quickly," he said.

The man on the surf ski had witnessed the attack and began towing Henrich to shore as the injured surfer rested on his belly, extending his right calf in the air. Henrich said he decided to speed up his rescue by catching a wave all the way to shore.

Henrich said he managed to hobble to the shopping center, “screaming the whole way” whenever he put pressure on his mangled right leg. After flagging down a motorist to call 911, Henrich sat and waited for an ambulance while several bystanders offered their T-shirts to help stem the blood flow.

Henrich was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he received around 100 stitches.

Sources:
Honolulu Advertiser
Star Bulletin

PIC source:
Star Bulletin

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