A 10-foot-long tiger shark sunk a paddleboard off the coast of Maui, Hawaii and a boy was knocked off his board by a shark in Florida.
Larry Oberto, 57, had been enjoying the waters north of Cove Park on a blue inflatable stand-up board Dec. 3. He was 200 yards from the beach when he saw fish jumping out of the water about 10:15 a.m. and decided it was time to head in.
“Next thing I know, bam! My board gets bit, I fall off, all I’m thinking is get on the board, lie flat, don’t stick any arms out in the water. As soon as I get back, on I get on quick,” Larry Oberto told KHON2.
Although when he climbed back on his board, it was quickly losing air from the puncture wounds. That’s when Good Samaritan Al Gaston came to Oberto’s aid, and the two began the journey back to shore.
“He sees the shark kind of lurking, I’m laying flat on the board just trying to get back so I’m just thinking mission, shore!” said Oberto.
Recently retired from racing boats and cars, Oberto used his sinking boat for added buoyancy as he supported himself on Gaston’s paddleboard.
The two made it back to the beach near 1681 Halama Street and alerted authorities who posted shark warning signs. Oberto plans on paddleboarding again, but says he’ll avoid inflatables and won’t go solo.
Another shark interaction occurred in the same area earlier this year.
An unidentified female was hitting the waves near 1554 Halama Street Sept. 26. around 9 a.m. when a 6- to 7-foot long shark grabbed the back of her board. Other surfers came to her aid and encouraged the fear-stricken girl to paddle the 150 yards back to shore.
Back in the continental US, a Florida boy was hit by a shark.
Chandler Moore,7, and his family were at New Smyrna Beach Nov. 30.
His father Shaun Moore was helping him surf, when a good wave came up, he gave his son’s board a good push. Chandler was catching his balance when something knocked him off the board.
Initially, they thought the bump came from a fish, but when the family reviewed footage from the GoPro attached to Chandler’s board, they realized a small blacktip shark was the culprit.
There have been 95 shark attack bites (83 with injury, 25 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019. Five of which were fatal**; 15 in Hawaii (4 no injury, 4 provoked, 1 fatal) and 27 occurring in Florida (5 provoked)
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.