A 16-year-old surfer is the latest victim of a shark attack in Hawaii after he suffered deep wounds to his legs and had to fight the shark with his bare hands to escape.
Jimmy Napeahi was surfing on Hawaii’s Big Island Sunday afternoon when a shark, 8 to 10 feet long, attacked him. Napeahi, a native of Hawaii, suffered 30 lacerations to his legs but is expected to live.
“It hit me so fast I didn’t know what was going on,” Napeahi said of the moment the shark attacked him. “I got hit, then I started punching the shark.”
Napeahi’s friends were surfing alongside the teen and couldn’t believe they were witnessing a shark attack.
“He was coming down the wave and the shark came from the side and took him out by the leg. I couldn’t cope, I was shaking already,” Isaac Belisario said. “I was so close to a shark attack. It was like a life deal right there. I can’t explain it. That was too much.”
After Napeahi managed to escape with his life, Elgin Sanpos helped the teen until paramedics arrived.
“I put a tourniquet on his leg,” Sanpos said. “I guess we got the blood all under control and then the ambulance came to take over.”
A German visitor lost her arm in a shark attack Wednesday and remains on life support at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Jana Lutteropp, 20, was snorkeling 50 to 100 yards off Palauea Beach in Makena when a shark attacked her.
“She is on full life support and she remains in very critical condition,” a hospital representative told ABC News Monday. “The family requests that you give them their privacy during this very difficult time.”
Rick Moore, a teacher from California, risked his life swimming in the blood-red water to rescue Lutteropp. Bystanders on shore heard Lutteropp’s screams for help.
“‘I’m dying, I’m going to die.’ And I kept saying to her, ‘No you’re not. No you’re not,’” Moore said of the rescue.
Hawaii has recorded nine shark attacks this year, including a retired school teacher who was injured in an attack a few weeks ago. But the number of attacks is not above average and surfers, despite all the warning signs posted along Hawaii’s famous beaches, are still racing into the water to ride the waves.