It was a peaceful day until a scream filled a private beach on Hawaii’s biggest island. A man was paddleboarding when a shark attacked him. The beach didn’t have a lifeguard, but the “private safety team” hired at Kukio Golf and Beach Club immediately launched a canoe to the man’s rescue.
According to the Fire Capt. Michael Grace, the safety team reached the man in time:
It was “a male individual who had been bumped off his paddleboard about 100 to 150 yards offshore. They recovered him from the ocean. He had injuries to his right-side extremities.”
Until paramedics arrived to take the man to the hospital, staff members tended the man’s injuries and used tourniquets to stop the bleeding.
The man hasn’t been yet identified by the authorities, but the staff said that he is a resident living in the community, he is 25-years-old and he was paddleboarding with his father when a shark bumped the board and attacked the young man after he fell into the water.
The young man was airlifted and checked into the North Hawaii Community Hospital. The attack left him with critical injuries and it’s the first unfortunate event since 2015.
The Shark Population Is in Decline
According to reports from the International Shark Attack File, between 2007 – 2016 there have been 65 people attacked by sharks in Hawaii. Even if the shark population is in constant decline, the number of people swimming in their natural habitat keeps growing, thus meaning more similar cases.
Moreover, according to the International Shark Attack File, the different “local meteorological, oceanographic, and socioeconomic conditions also significantly influences the local abundance of sharks and humans in the water and, therefore, the odds of encountering one another.”
Most of these encounters don’t end in deaths, said nature writer Sy Montgomery in an interview. And most of the attacks happen when sharks mistake humans for something else.
After the incident at the Kukio Golf and Beach Club, officials posted signs on the beach to warn visitors about sharks. Until they make sure the water is safe, they will keep the beach closed.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.