Hawaii Shark Attack: 61-Year-Old Man Lives From 10 Foot Tiger Shark Bite

By Staff Reporter on December 1, 2012 3:59 PM EST

Tiger Shark
A 10-foot tiger shark attacks Tom Kennedy just 250 yards from the shore (Photo: Shark_Cove)

Statistically speaking, shark attacks are rare incidents. However, the odds of suffering an attack, break away from its jaw, swim away and successfully escape is so unlikely it might as well be impossible. 61-year-old Tom Kennedy of Oregon managed to beat all odds and live to tell the tale after the frightening encounter that occured at Maui, Hawaii, on Friday.

Tom Kennedy of Lake Oswego, Oregan, was enjoying some rest and relaxation at Kihei beach and participated in a snorkeling outing Friday morning. Swimming approximately 250 yards from the shore, a 10-foot tiger shark took a chomp at Kennedy's calf.

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Recalling the incident, Kennedy said, "Initially it didn't hurt so much. It was mostly just fear of a second attack."

Aware of the animal, Kennedy acted quickly to swim away and distance himself from the shark. "It released me and I started swimming as fast as I could...as I went further and started to bleed, I could see I was trailing blood, which was my next concern.

"I kept watching behind because I was concerned it would come back again."

Finally, Kennedy managed to reach his paddleboard and quickly make it back to the shore. A fellow snorkeler happened to be an emergency room nurse and quickly MacGyvered the leach on the paddleboard into a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Eventually, EMT reached the beach and quickly transported Tom Kennedy to the nearby Maui Medical Center for treatment.

According to doctors, Kennedy's injuring could have been a lot worse if the shark managed to sever a major artery. Thankfully, the tiger shark missed and Kennedy is expected to make a recovery.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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