A 16-year-old boy suffered bites to both legs while surfing off Hawaii's Big Island over the weekend, the latest in a string of shark attacks in Hawaiian waters.
Jimmy "Ulu Boy" Napeahi, a member of the Puna Surf Team, was surfing Sunday along the island's eastern shore when he was struck by a shark of unknown type. Witnesses described it as about 8 feet long.
The boy was flown by helicopter to the Hilo Medical Center and was listed in satisfactory condition, William Aila, chairman of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, told Reuters.
"He was coming down the waves, and the wave and shark came from the side and took him out by the legs," Isaac Belisaro, a witness who was surfing nearby, told Hawaii’s KHON-TV.
According to SurferToday.com, Napeahi was preparing to compete in a North Shore surfing competition, after placing fourth in a recent Pro-Am.
The incident came less than a week after a 20-year-old German woman had her arm severed in a shark strike off Maui. The woman was snorkeling at the time, authorities said.
The weekend’s attack marks the state’s seventh incident this year, Aila said.
Deadly attacks are extremely rare, Aila said. The last fatal attack was in 2004 when a 57-year-old surfer suffered a 14-inch bite to his upper right thigh and died from a loss of blood before he could be brought to shore.
- Reuters contributed to this report
First published August 19 2013, 11:51 AM