Surfers react to shark bites

Published  10:11 PM HST Aug 19, 2013
Surfer
HONOLULU -

Jimmy "Ulu Boy" Napeahi, the 16-year-old that was bit by a shark is recovering on the Big Island. He was supposed to compete in an amateur surfing event at Duke's OceanFest in Waikiki on Monday.

Dax McGill is a childhood friend of Napeahi and says they grew up surfing on the north shore of Oahu.

"He's an amazing surfer, he was one of my picks to win this contest," says McGill, a Pupukea resident.

Terry Walker was surfing a day later near the same spot at Pohoiki where Napeahi was bit.

"I thought, if the guy got bit yesterday, the shark's probably gone, so it's probably OK to go in," says Walker.

E.J. Mitsui has his own stories of close encounters. He's been surfing for six years and was riding waves in the finals at Duke's Ocean Fest on Monday. Mitsui has never seen a shark in Waikiki, but in other places he's seen more than he can count.

"Scary, you just get all nervous," says Mitsui, a surfer from Nanakuli.

His most nervous moment was at surf spot called "Hau Bush" near Ewa Beach.

"My dad was pointing down the beach saying paddle that way. I'm like what's wrong, and they said look and right on shore is a shark munching on fish in the shoreline," says Mitsui.

Mistui recalls spotting sharks often nearby at White Plains Beach as well.

"It's always in the back of your mind but you cant let it affect you that much where your to scared to go out or else you're done, you're over," says Mitsui.

McGill knows the feeling too. One year ago at Velzyland, she was sitting on her board when an 8-foot shark bumped into her.

"It was pretty scary but I was out on a really murky day and it was a really not too safe spot," says McGill.

McGill says Pohoiki, where Napeahi was bit can feel that way too. She knows her friend will eventually get back in the water and says beach-goers should respect the ocean.

"They're creatures swimming in the sea and this is their home and were just using it were surfing in it so were going to see sometimes, but they don't mean any harm. I think they just mistake us when they see us," says McGill.

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