His surfing buddy was sure he was a goner.
But 43-year-old Paul Santos is recovering in stable condition, following a shark attack Wednesday afternoon at Kiholo Bay, where murky water and turtles often attract sharks.
Steve Macres was surfing with Santos Wednesday, like they have been for years. Macres has been surfing at Kiholo for 40 years and never felt the sharks were a big threat, until he heard Santos yell in pain.
"I turned around to go on a wave and heard him. I heard that blood-curdling scream. It was just so primordial. It was unbelievable and it went into an echo so I could tell while he was screaming, he went underwater," Macres said.
Then out of the water came a 15-foot-long tiger shark, followed by a splash and then nothing, according to Macres, who was convinced his friend was dead. He made a quick decision to paddle to shore, but 20 feet later, he decided to turn around to get another look.
"I just see him paddling for me. It was just incredible. It was like he was just born again, I just went, 'Oh God. Thank God.' You know?" said Marces. "And then he lifted his right arm and his hand was flopping and it was, the bone was connected and it didn't break, but everything else was gone. I go, 'Paddle Paul, paddle!'"
And paddle he did. Santos eventually staggered out of the water and sought help at an estate on the north side of the bay.
Macres added, "Paul saved himself and I think it's important that they realize that. If i wasn't there, he still would have made it in, he still would have put his tourniquet on his arm and walk down the beach to someone, you know? That's how tough he is."
Macres said he spoke with Santos Thursday evening and that his hand was reattached and that he can already move his pinky finger.