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Molokai shark attack

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New Member
Mar 21, 2003
Here's a local article:

Moloka'i shark victim saw shoulder 'gone'

By Peter Boylan
Advertiser Staff Writer

Davy Sanada was done diving for the day off east Moloka'i and was swimming to shore when he suddenly saw a large shark dead ahead in the murky water bearing straight for him.
"I only saw it when it had me," Sanada, 34, of Kane'ohe, told The Advertiser last night in a phone interview from his hospital bed at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Sanada was being treated for severe wounds to his left shoulder from the attack in shallow waters outside Kupeke Fishpond. He was transferred to The Queen's Medical Center this morning for surgery. His condition was unavailable.

Because the fishpond was near private land and relatively inaccessible to the public, no beaches were closed or warning signs posted, said Bill Puleloa, an aquatic biologist on Moloka'i with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Officials do not know what type of shark bit Sanada. But Puleloa said it could have been a tiger shark. And even though the water was only four feet deep where Sanada was attacked, tiger sharks are known to swim in waters that shallow, Puleloa said.

"It wouldn't surprise me to see a larger tiger shark in shallow waters," he said. "I have seen them with my own eyes."

Sanada, a pipefitter at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, said he was done fishing about 12:30 p.m. Saturday and was heading for shore, his bag of speared fish trailing about 30 feet behind him, when the shark, estimated by officials at 12 feet long, attacked.

"I remember this big force hitting me and this big shadow wrapping me up and I remember just being shaken," he said. "It shocked me. I started panicking. Something had me, then I started flailing away at it."

As quickly as it attacked, the shark let go, Sanada said.

Sanada stood up quickly and looked down to see his blood spreading in the water around him.

Then he saw the shark coming back.

"I just started hitting it with my spear (gun). It was not cocked. I had taken the rubber band off already, so I was just poking it," said Sanada.

"Finally it turned and swam off."

Sanada said he could see his friends on the beach about 200 yards away and tried yelling to them, but the distance prevented them from hearing him.

"I looked at my (left) shoulder and it was just gone," he said. "I flipped my wetsuit over it to try and stop some of the bleeding and started walking in. I was yelling for help."

Sanada said he was in shock and a lot of pain.

"I was pretty much ready to pass out a few times," he said. "I thought I was a goner."

Sanada said a woman who heard his cries paddled out in her kayak but was unable to steady her boat in the current. He said he got off the kayak, walked to the rock wall of the fishpond, climbed onto it and waited for help.

"He was waving for help," said Carol Beadle, who said she and other bystanders helped Sanada. "I could tell his face was ripped and his shoulder was dislocated."

Sanada said a friend of his, a former firefighter, came to the wall and helped him until paramedics and firefighters arrived. They applied pressure to control Sanada's bleeding until a helicopter airlifted him out, authorities said.

Sanada said he has been diving since high school and never thought something like this could happen to him. He said he has a lot of gratitude for those who helped him.

Sanada said doctors have told him he will need several surgeries, including possibly a complete shoulder reconstruction.

"It's going to be a long battle from here," he said. "It's one of those freak things. You have to respect the ocean and the predators in it and just be smart."

Sanada said he wasn't sure if he will go diving again.
Just goes to show that you're never completely safe when you think you are, even in just 4 feet water. I wonder why the tiger never went after the stringer of fish? Hmmm.... Very peculiar. I've been to Molokai once, specifically to spear fish. This seems to be a growing "thing to do" among spearfishermen in Hawaii. The locals are pretty nice, as usual in Hawaii, but the majority are definitely against further commercialization and depletion of the natural resouces on their island, especially their abundance of fish in the water. I wonder if this tiger shark was supernaturally responding to the locals plea to keep outsiders from tredding on their turf. This notion is only fitting, since sharks are embedded deeply into Hawaiian legends and folklore.
(Just some random thoughts, not meant to harm.)

could have been territorial more than hunger. they are know to be territorial
Four feet of water! There were two things going for the attack: murky water, and people had been diving earlier in the day. If anyone is familiar with the details, I'd like to know:

high tide?
rough or calm?
turtles around?
what kind of wetsuit did he have?

Interesting that the shark came from the front, I thought they usually come from behind or below. Don't know about you guys, but I've been in shallow, murky water with a stringer of fish many times... I have always believed that they would be less likely to hit you in rough water, and tend to be more cautious if it is calm and high tide. This is based on my reef shark sightings, but maybe doesn't apply to tigers. I've also been told to avoid a black wetsuit, as it makes you look like a seal or turtle. As soon as my cheapo solid black wetsuit wears out, I might invest in camo... or maybe do a home-made paint job.
was swimming to shore when he suddenly saw a large shark dead ahead in the murky water bearing straight for him.

jeez i had to read that a few times... couldn't figure out how a dead shark could bite someone... lol!

bring me some more coffee....
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bring me some more coffee....aaaaaaahhhhhh...a girl after my own heart !! :D
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