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A 27-year-old man remained in serious condition Monday at a Hawaii hospital after a shark chomped down on his leg while spearfishing, officials said.
The Kapaau man — identified by relatives as Braxton Rocha — was about 60 yards off Upolu Point in North Kohala on the Big Island on Sunday when he reported a 13-foot-long tiger shark had bitten his left leg, the Hawaii Department of Natural Resources wrote on Facebook.
He managed to swim to shore and alert a fishing companion, who called 911.
He was flown by helicopter to North Hawaii Community Hospital and underwent surgery.
A hospital official on Monday described the victim as “talkative,” but said he was not immediately granting interviews.
Authorities did not confirm his name, but relatives and friends set up a GoFundMe page on Rocha's behalf.
Rocha apparently also posted a short, graphic video of his injury on Instagram, but it was later removed.
On the GoFundMe page, relatives said Rocha underwent surgery for two serious injuries to his left leg and was in intensive care.
"While we are hopeful that he will recover and will be able to keep his leg, there is no certainty at this time," the page said. "He will continue to need medical care and there will be additional rehabilitation and therapy needed after he is released from the hospital."
The page said Rocha does not have medical insurance, "so any help that you may be willing to extend to him and his family would be greatly appreciated."
The Department of Natural Resources said no beaches were closed after the attack because it occurred in an isolated and remote area.