In yet another shark attack in Hawaii, the fifth to be reported this year from the islands, a young surfer was injured after he was bitten on his legs by a shark. According to CNN, the surfer was identified as 25-year-old Colin Cook. The surfer was reportedly surfing off Oahu’s North Shore when he was attacked from beneath by an unknown shark species. The attack was near-fatal and Cook lost one of his legs, confirmed KHON2 News.
This latest shark attack happened on Friday morning at the popular surf spot known as The Leftovers. According to CNN, the first report of the shark attack came at around 10:25 a.m., local time when a call was made to 911 requesting emergency assistance. According to eyewitnesses, which also included friends and family members of Colin, the attack happened when Colin was sitting on his surfboard awaiting a wave. The shark came out of nowhere and attacked Colin and was able to rip his leg off. Colin fought back and punched the shark a couple of times after which the animal swam off. Colin then shouted for help and even managed to swim towards another surfer who was nearby. He was then pulled by the other surfer on to his board and quickly brought him to the shore.
Chris Webster, one of Cook’s cousins told KHON2 News about the incident.
“He swam on his own free will to another surfer who threw him onto his board and paddled him straight to shore.”
Another witness, Drew Zarba shared what she saw with KHON2.
“He was screaming ‘shark’ and ‘help,'” said Zarba. “I grabbed the surfboard and I laid it down right here as he was pulling off his leash off.”
Soon after he was brought to the shore, Cook asked how his leg was and also inquired if an ambulance was on its way. He also asked for a glass of water. Minutes later, emergency responders arrived on the scene. Shayne Enright from the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Department later made the following statement.
“The patient suffered critical injuries to his left leg… and he did suffer some abrasions to his hand, mostly trying to fend off the shark.”
For further treatment, Cook was taken to Queen’s Medical Center, where he was initially listed to be in a critical condition. However, Drew Zarba added that Colin Cook was conscious during the entire ordeal and had a pulse. He was, however, visibly shaken. After reaching the hospital, doctors had to amputate his leg. According to doctors, the shark had bitten Colin Cook below the knee and took parts of his leg below the knee cap. The amputation was done above the knee, they confirmed. After reaching the hospital his condition stabilized, and according to friends, he even joked about the incident before he went in for the surgery. His friends and family praised all the people who came to Colin’s rescue and quickly helped him get emergency treatment.
The shark attack happened at a time when several other people were about to go into the waters. However, they decided not to take a risk following the attack on Colin Cook. Following the shark attack, warning signs were posted on the beach and lifeguards patrolled the entire area warning people about the possible dangers. Nearby beaches were also put on alert and warning signs posted.
Authorities have not managed to find the actual species of shark that attacked Colin. However, they do add that the animal was estimated to be between 10 and 12 feet long. A few hours after the shark attack, another shark was spotted off a nearby beach. It is unclear if the animal was the same one that attacked Cook.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]