Diver gets face to face with 13 foot tiger shark - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Diver gets face to face with 13 foot tiger shark

YOKOHAMA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

This Labor Day weekend a diver had to work extra hard to get away from a hungry 13 foot tiger shark.

"I definitely knew it was a tiger and it was a big boy," said Cheyne Settlemire, 27, from Ewa Beach. "His mouth was basically the length of this floater and he got bigger from there."

Settlemire was spear fishing at Yokohama Bay when the tiger shark tried to steal the fish on his line.

"He just came straight for me fins down and he came a foot from my spear tip and that was when I just let loose," said Settlemire.

He fired his power head spear gun, but it misfired and the bullet didn't come out.

"My heart sank when it didn't go off," said Settlemire.  "It basically did nothing. The power head didn't go off but he did flinch."

Sharks are spotted about twice a month out here.  In Settlemire's case the shark kept circling and following while he was frantically trying to swim the 300 yards to shore.

"That 15 minute swim felt like a 5 hour swim," said Settlemire.

Once on land he got a family to call 911.  Lifeguards on a jet ski pulled out his friend and a group of boys who were also diving nearby.

"We're trained to do it. Yeah it's scary for the ski operator, frightening for them, it's adrenaline," said Kelly Krohne, Ocean Safety Lifeguard, Leeward Captain, regarding jumping in the water knowing there is a shark nearby.

Settlemire credits the quick acting life guards for ensuring no one got hurt and perhaps the prayer written on his buoy was answered as well.

"'Trust in the Lord's speech,' that's for when the big boys come around," said Settlemire.

"Do you think it helped?"

"Yes. I was definitely praying up there man," Settlemire responded.

Yokohama Beach was open for people to enjoy the holiday.  The shark even attracted people from Makiki to make the hour drive to Yokohama.

"Just to know there was a big shark out in the ocean is exhilarating and exciting," said Asiana Ponciano, Makiki.

Settlemire says he will continue diving.  As for diving out at this Yokohama Beach, Settlemire is going to give it a few weeks before he gets in the water here again.

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