A man in Hawaii was bitten on the left foot, just hours after another man suffered bites to both legs in separate incidents described initially as shark attacks on Saturday, October 17. Authorities examining the man with the injured foot, however, later determined the bite more consistent with that of an eel rather than a shark.
Both incidents occurred off the Hawaii island of Oahu, and each man injured was identified as a resident of the island.
According to Star Advertiser, at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday, paramedics were dispatched to at 1502 Mokulua Drive in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii, where a 44-year-old man awaited emergency treatment for injuries suffered from an apparent shark attack off Lanikai Beach.
The Honolulu Fire Department of Hawaii conducting the rescue, reported that the victim was swimming with another man toward Lanikai from the Mokulua Islands at the time of the shark attack. The victim encountered the shark between 50 to 100 yards off the popular beach in Kailua on Oahu’s windward side.
According to Hawaii News Now, Lanikai residents Mike Dilks and Joey Montano heard two paddlers of one-man canoes yelling from the water. At about 100 yards offshore, the yells became more discernible with one of the approaching men waving his paddle around for help and crying out “911.”
When Dilks paddled out on his surf board to investigate, he found that the victim of a shark attack was being brought in and would need a tourniquet. But, Dilks did not realize the full extent of the man’s injuries until he was pulled out of the water. The lower extremities of the legs, above the ankle, were “just hanging on,” in Montano’s words.
Montano said he had called Hawaii fire officials at around 11:40 a.m. and they got to the scene at 11:47 a.m.
The rescued man who remains unidentified, was in serious condition while his companion did not sustain any injuries. The victim is undergoing emergency care at the Queens Medical Center.
Meanwhile, Hawaii authorities have closed access to the water from Kailua Beach to Bellows until further notice.
From varied eye-witness accounts, the shark involved was a tiger shark estimated at between seven to 10 feet long.
Star Advertiser placed the rescue call for the other victim at 6:50 p.m. Saturday. It was a 911 report of an injured 33-year-old man near the Honolulu Police substation on Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.
Hawaii paramedics found beach people using towels to stop the bleeding on a man’s foot. The injuries on the surfer’s left foot were serious enough to warrant emergency procedures.
Recalling the incident, the surfer said he was riding his board when he fell off a wave and something struck his foot, inflicting pain.
The man was in serious condition when paramedics took him to the hospital.
According to Fox News, lifeguards patrolling the waters early Sunday where the eel attack was supposed to have happened found no evidence of any sharks in the area.
In its progress report, Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) determined that the injuries sustained by the man were consistent with an eel bite.
Because of the collated findings, plans to post shark warning signs on the beach have been abandoned.
Hawaii’s online record of shark attacks, which dates back 20 years, has no entry of any shark attacks taking place near Waikiki Beach.
However, at the North Shore surf area called “Leftovers,” surfer Colin Cook was bitten by a shark just eight days before the incidents on Saturday. The 25-year-old man lost his left leg above the knee and is still undergoing treatment at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii for his recovery.
[Photo by Matt King/Getty Images]