A Hawaii man was attacked by a tiger shark at the weekend and uploaded a graphic shark attack selfie video. Braxton Rocha, 27, was reportedly spearfishing at Upolu Point, off the coast of Hawaii’s Big Island when the incident occurred.
According Big Island Now, a spokesperson for Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said as Rocha was swimming, a 13-foot tiger shark attacked him, biting his left leg. They said it happened in murky, brown waters, as heavy rain had been falling in the area.
Rocha then swam back to shore and his friend immediately called for help. He was then loaded into a private vehicle and while en route to the local hospital, he took a video shark attack selfie and uploaded it to Instagram. The video was removed from Instagram, due to its extreme graphic nature, but was also posted to YouTube and LiveLeak and is included at the end of this article.
— Mileka Lincoln (@MilekaLincoln) September 24, 2015
In the video, Rocha says, “Just got attacked by a tiger shark! Hoo! Going to the hospital,” as he points the camera at the nasty wound on his left leg.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) September 24, 2015
According to the Huffington Post, he was admitted to the North Hawaii Hospital in a serious condition and required surgery on his left leg, and his condition is now improving so much he took a second shark attack selfie from his hospital bed Monday night, to keep his friends apprised of his condition.
The victim’s mother, Laurie Rocha, posted on social media that her son had received a “good prognosis” from the doctor.
Rocha himself posted his thanks to his friends on the social media, saying, “I just wanted to personally thank everyone out there for their kind and loving words and all of the prayers sent my way.”
“This kanaka [native Hawaiian] ain’t getting taken out that easily!”
Rocha went on to express his respect for the ocean, saying, “Can’t wait to get back into the water… No matter what, I’ll always love sharks and have so much respect for the top predator.”
Reportedly some people had said his shark attack selfie video was fake and he responded, saying he was flattered by their remarks.
“To all the people that think my video was fake…all I have to say is I’m quite flattered that you think my badass level is something to admire and put down. Can’t help I handled it like a true champ…”
An interview with Rocha is available on Soundcloud, where he was asked what he would say to the tiger shark if he could. He said he would tell her, “Mahalo for giving me a wake-up call.”
Warning: The shark attack selfie video below is graphic and might upset sensitive viewers, who can instead enjoy the cartoon version above by Drew Toonz.
[Image: Tiger shark CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 tobze]