INJURED – 14 August 2013 – Palauea Beach, Makena, Maui, Hawaii – snorkeler attacked

Rick Moore

Rick Moore on Palauea Beach. He swam out and rescued the shark attack victim.

A 20-year-old German woman, Jana Witteropp, was snorkeling in 15- to 20-foot-deep water off Palauea Beach in Makena, Maui, Hawaii when a shark bit off her right arm below the shoulder. The incident occurred around 5pm on Wednesday, 14 August 2013.

It was  unclear what type of shark was responsible for the attack.

A witness – Rick Moore, 57 – who was on the beach at the time told media “we heard this blood-curdling scream”.

“We looked out and there was blood everywhere in the white water around her.”

He put on his flippers and swam out to her. He said when he was “about 10 feet from her, I saw her floating on her back, with no arm. It was completely severed from her body.”

“All she had hanging out on her right arm was her bone, and she kept saying these words, ‘I’m dying, I’m going to die. I kept saying ‘No you’re not, you’re not, I’m going to get you to shore, I’m going to save you.’”

ABC News reports he put her other arm around his neck and did backstroke back to the beach – about 100 metres away.

“It dawned on me — I was in danger now. The shark is around me and she’s bleeding. I start praying out loud, ‘God, God protect us.’

“She was starting to lose consciousness.”

“I started crying out to God and I got this burst of strength,” said Moore, who is also a pastor. “I swam toward the shore.”

His friend was waiting in neck deep water and helped Moore take the woman out of the water with the use of a bystander’s kayak which they used as a stretcher to carry her up a trail leading to the street. She was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Another witness called 911. A policeman arrived with a tourniquet. And then an ambulance took her to Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.


ABC News
Christian Science Monitor
Fox News
ABC News blogs

PIC Source:
Fox News

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3 Comments on “INJURED – 14 August 2013 – Palauea Beach, Makena, Maui, Hawaii – snorkeler attacked”

  1. George Askew Says:

    Why the hell didn`t he stop the bleeding?. Even pushing his finger into her artery would stop it or most of it. ????

    • Chris Barnes Says:

      George, there you go again, give the man some credit at least he dived in and rescued the lady, many people would just stand and watch, they don’t want to dive in there when there is a chance of being attacked yourself.
      Sounds like you have never had to struggle with a half lifeless body 100 meters from the shore and try to swim the individual out of harms way, let alone try to stop the bleeding at the same time.

    • me, just me Says:

      i’m pretty sure they stopped the bleeding upon arriving on shore, but if you meant while rescuing the girl . .

      how could you even find time to stop the bleeding when you’re in the ocean, carrying another human being to shore, using all your limbs to swim full force and trying to calm down the woman, all while watching around you and worrying like hell if the shark will attack again because of all the blood trailing from the severed limb, i’m pretty sure even in war, the bravest of medics will move the injured person out of enemy fire and line of sight, then treat them in a safe place rather than apply the treatment right there where the medic himself might get shot . . .

      theories and “textbook expertise” are all great, but when facing such situation as severe as this, anyone will just be too shaken to move or even think logically, sure you might have had times where you had to treat yourself or somebody because of some injury, i sure have, but treating a lost limb while swimming for your life in the middle of a shark-infested water?

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