Shark attack survivor: Attack like 'getting hit by an 18-wheeler - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Shark attack survivor: Attack like 'getting hit by an 18-wheeler'

Colin Cook Colin Cook
Shark attack survivor Colin Cook poses at a news conference Friday at the Queen's Medical Center. Shark attack survivor Colin Cook poses at a news conference Friday at the Queen's Medical Center.
Colin Cook walking in the hospital Colin Cook walking in the hospital
NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Oahu surfer who lost his leg in a shark attack last Friday says he's taking his recovery day by day, but is slowly getting better and staying strong. 

Colin Cook, 25, says he's determined to surf again. Just one day after the attack, he was already out of his hospital bed and taking a few steps

Cook says he remembers the attack "clear as day."

At a news conference Friday, he told reporters that he saw that the waves were about 6-feet-high at his home break of Leftovers on the North Shore.

Cook said he didn't see the shark coming, and said the attack was like "getting hit by an 18-wheeler."

He was immediately dragged under water, his mind went blank, and he went into "a fight or flight response." Cook said he struggled, but managed to break free from the shark after punching it. 

Keoni Bowthorpe, 33, heard Cook screaming for help when he reached the surface and says he immediately rushed over on his stand-up paddle board. Bowthorpe says the 10- to 12-foot tiger shark was persistent and he hit it a few times with his paddle as he helped pull Cook onto his back. 

Bowthorpe says Cook was barely conscious; he realized they would have to move quickly to get back to shore as the shark followed them into the cove. 

Strangers on the beach helped pull them to safety and applied a tourniquet to Cook's leg as they waited for an ambulance to arrive. 

Cook said as soon as he's fitted with a prosthetic, he plans on getting back into the water. He says he has nothing but respect for sharks, which he described as beautiful creatures. 

Bowthorpe shares the same sentiment saying, "surfers know that they enter the ocean as guests." 

The pair says they're looking forward to surfing together again soon. 

Cook will be released from the Queen's Medical Center on Friday afternoon and is heading to a rehabilitation hospital for the next few weeks. If all goes well, Cook's doctors tell him he can likely return to the water within a month. 

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