Shark bite witnesses recall moments of fear
A 23-year-old Brigham Young University graduate and former basketball player is recovering from surgery after a shark bit his right arm on Oahu's North Shore on Saturday. Those who helped save the victim recall the initial frightening moments.
LAIE, Hawaii - A 23-year-old Brigham Young University graduate and former basketball player is recovering from surgery after a shark bit his right arm on Oahu's North Shore on Saturday. Those who helped save the victim recall the initial frightening moments.
Mitchell Hashimoto describes a casual morning of surfing that quickly took a turn for the worst after a shark bit his friend, Juliun Perkins, shortly after 8 a.m. at Pounders Beach. "Out of nowhere, we just hear screaming, 'Shark! Help!' It wasn't hysterical; he's a very calm guy. All the surfers looked over. We just saw the splashing of the fin."
Flynn Novak was also surfing nearby. He says what looked like an eight to ten foot shark completely cleared the water of nearly 30 surfers who were there before, leaving Perkins alone in the water. "There was just the one guy sitting on his surfboard and he was holding his arm."
Novak says he saw a wave break directly over Perkins, knocking him off his board. Hashimoto caught the board, passed it on to another swimmer, and paddled in to dial 911. "He couldn't swim, he lost his board, and there wasn't anybody else in the lineup at the time. So I just made my way to him."
Novak says the shark's jaw was so big, the bite mark encompassed almost Perkins' entire arm. "At that point, I realized we were surrounded by a pool of his blood. My main concern was just to keep him calm. But inside I was like, 'Uh oh, there's a big predator here. You could see the big gash up here."
Novak says they waited for his friend and lifeguard Jessie King to bring his board and take him to safety. "That one or two minutes with him was probably the longest minute or two of our lives."
Together, they got Perkins up on his board, applied a tourniquet, and brought him to shore. "He's just a very good spirited kid. He was cracking jokes on the way, from what I heard. He was trying to paddle with one arm and everybody was like, 'No!'" Novak says.
Perkins was treated at the scene and taken to the hospital. Emergency Medical Services says the incident happened before Ocean Safety staff started their work day.
Pounders Beach has no lifeguards. Shark warning signs are still posted along the beach.
Perkins is recovering in the hospital.