A surfer has been bitten by a shark off Maui, Hawaii.
The Federico Jaime was at a surf spot called “H-Poko” off Hookipa Beach Park just before 5 p.m. on Friday October 21 when he was bitten.
The 36-year-old man was around 50 yards (45.7m) off shore in the murky choppy water the shark bit his left arm and left leg.
“When I paddled out, I saw a bubble, but didn’t think anything — usually that’s a turtle,”Jaime told Surfline. “I got a right, and when I was paddling back to the peak the thing came and grabbed my arm. I started hitting it and kicking it with the board… I don’t know what I did. Later, a guy said I was wrestling with the thing for five seconds. At the beginning, I thought it was just one bite. I didn’t even realize my leg was hit till I got to shore.”
“I wasn’t sure if it’d go away,” he said. “I started screaming, ‘Help, Shark!’ There were like 40 people in the lineup, and they’re all heroes. They came close to me and made a shield, and then helped me get to shore.They’re brave. With so much blood, I thought that the thing was gonna come back and get me or somebody else.”
Another surfer reported seeing a 5 foot (1.5m) reef shark bit Jaime’s arm, then let go only to turn around and bite his left leg.
Surfer Matt Meola filmed a short video of the rescue.
He was taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center and will have surgery on Wednesday to repair the torn tendons.
“I’m lucky, dude,” Fede said. “I’m reborn. I didn’t think I’d be so happy about this. I was sad at the beginning — like, ‘what’s going to happen to me?’ But I realized I survived and I’m gonna have my hand. Super positive about life.”
“I’m not gonna stop surfing,” he said. “No way. Ho’okipa is my backyard. I surf there every sunset. I’m gonna still see people getting barreled. What am I going to do, sit on the shore?”
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources initiated shark attack protocol and closed beaches from Mama’s Fish House to Maliko Bay until noon on Saturday.
Officials have warned beach goers in Hawaii to be aware of sharks as the month of October has been statistically shown to have the highest number of shark attack bites.
A snorkeler was bitten earlier this month on October 15 off off Charley Young Beach.
There have been a total of 88 shark attack bites in 2016. Seven of which were fatal; 40 were reported in the US, with 28 occurring in Florida. Eighteen have occurred in Australia, three of which were fatal.
Updated October 24, 2016.