Puffer fish bites four-year-old at Olowalu beach - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Puffer fish bites four-year-old at Olowalu beach

Posted: Updated:
Kai Plumley Kai Plumley
Kai Plumley's wound on his right leg from a puffer fish. Kai Plumley's wound on his right leg from a puffer fish.
MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Four-year-old Kai Plumley's day at Olowalu Beach ended with a shallow wound on his right leg.

At about 1:15 p.m. Saturday afternoon, Kai was swimming with his parents when they say, a 16-inch, gray puffer fish locked on.

"All of a sudden, my son Kai, just starts screaming at the top of his lungs," Makawao resident Josh Plumley said. "I swam right up to him and tried to take a couple of whacks at the head of the fish and he didn't release. So I put my hands around his mouth and face and I ripped him off my son's leg."

According to Plumley, the attack didn't end there.

"I went to shore and the puffer fish turned around and was going after the surfboard that my wife was on," Plumley said."It went up to the board and was biting at the board."

Over the years there have been several shark sightings and attacks at Olowalu, including one that turned fatal back in 1991. Experts say they've never heard of anything like this.

"This puffer fish is known as a striped belly puffer, which can be in shallow water," said Dr. John Randall, a retired senior ichthyologist.  "It's never known to be aggressive, so we have an attack that is one of a kind, but well worth recording."

Copyright 2013 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.