It was a typical day at Makaha Beach: The water was clear and the skies slightly overcast.
"Aunty Lulu,” 51, had been swimming here for about 16 years when she dove into the water on the afternoon of Sept. 7.
“I'm out there about 100 yards or so, then I did my turnaround, I did my swimming, I turned around where the surfers are and I just felt this huge, huge tackle, like a football tackle,” she said. “I was just so ready to fight and get out of the water, and when I looked up to get up and try to figure out who it was, I just saw flesh, all over flesh, my blood, my shoulder was coming off, my arm was barely there.”
Lifeguards say Aunty Lulu was swimming around 2:30 p.m. when they heard her screaming.
Surfer G-No Opfer was the first to come to Aunty Lulu’s rescue.
“He heard but ignored me for a minute, he probably thought it was the tour people,” Aunty Lulu said. “And he came to me on a short board. I said ‘thank you so much, I just got hit by a mano.’ And then he tried to get me on the shortboard, but I couldn't get on there very well.”
Opfer said his shortboard was too small to transport her to shore, so he yelled for his friend Danny Boro, who had a longboard.
"She said she couldn't breath and she had a hard time breathing,” Boro said. “So what was going through my mind was, I was kind of freaked out myself as I was paddling her in because everything was happening so fast and I didn't know how much blood she lost and so I was just, as much as I could, get her on my board and get her to the other rescue board," Boro said.
By that time, lifeguards had paddled out.
"When they grabbed her, they found she had bite marks on her shoulder, her forearm. We brought her in and called the ambulance," said Jason Patterson, an Ocean Safety lieutenant.
She was taken to the hospital in serious condition, but has since been recovering.
“It's not the shark's fault, it's not the shark's fault,” Aunty Lulu said. “It's their home, they've been doing what they've been doing for centuries feeding. It is absolutely not their fault.”