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Shark attacks Big Isle surfer

January 19, 2013
The Associated Press

KAILUA-KONA (AP) - A man who was surfing in Kiholo Bay off the Big Island with a friend said he never thought that sharks were a big threat there until he heard his friend scream.

Steve Macres said he was surfing Wednesday with Paul Santos, just as they had done for many years, when the tiger shark, estimated at between 15 feet and 18 feet, attacked.

"I turned around to go on a wave and heard him. I heard that blood-curdling scream. It was just so primordial. It was unbelievable, and it went into an echo so I could tell while he was screaming, he went underwater," Macres told KITV-TV.

Macres said he saw the shark come out of the water, followed by a splash and then nothing. He said he thought his friend was dead and made a quick decision to paddle to shore. About 20 feet away, he decided to turn around to get another look.

"I just see him paddling for me. It was just incredible. It was like he was just born again, I just went, 'Oh God. Thank God.' You know?" said Marcres. "And then he lifted his right arm and his hand was flopping and it was, the bone was connected and it didn't break, but everything else was gone. I go, 'Paddle, Paul, paddle!' "

Santos eventually staggered out of the water and sought help at an estate on the north side of the bay.

Aaron Walters, who works as a chef on an estate on the bay, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that he was outside picking herbs when someone called for help and he saw a man running down the beach.

Walters, who moved to the Big Island in November, previously worked as a technician in an emergency room.

"When I got there, they were trying to make a tourniquet," Walters said. "We used the surfboard leash and tied it around his bicep." Beach towels were used to wrap Santos' arm while 911 calls were made.

"All we did was keep him stable, keep him warm," Walters said.

Walters' boss, Adam Atwood, praised his staff for their quick response to the incident. Atwood said the attack happened in murky, shallow waters.

"We do see sharks down there from time to time," Atwood said.

A spokeswoman at Kaiser Permanente's Moanalua Medical Center in Honolulu said Santos was alert and in stable condition with bites to his right arm and leg.

The beach was reopened at 1:30 p.m. Thursday after no sharks were spotted from Kiholo to Spencer Beach Park.



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