Hawaii's Bethany Hamilton inducted to Surfers' Hall of Fame

Hawaii's Bethany Hamilton inducted to Surfers' Hall of Fame

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. - Hawaii's own Bethany Hamilton was inducted into the Surfers' Hall of Fame on Friday in California.

Hamilton survived a shark attack off Kauai in 2003, and went on to inspire millions around the globe with her story.

Hamilton was inducted along with Australian Mick Fanning, who overcame a career-threatening injury to reach surfing's highest echelon three times to date.

"Together, Bethany and Mick's achievements are the things legends are made of," said Surfers' Hall of Fame founder Aaron Pai. "Both Bethany and Mick have inspired generations of people with their will to be unstoppable. They are truly the king and the queen of modern surfing."

Hamilton-Dirks was born in Lihue, and raised in a surfing family.

From an early age, she was winning surfing competitions.

But on the morning of Oct. 31, 2003, at the age of 13, her life changed.

Hamilton went out to surf at Tunnels Beach in Haena with her best friend, Alana Blanchard, and Blanchard's father and brother.

While lying on her board, Hamilton suddenly felt intense pressure on her left arm and was pulled back and forth for a few seconds before the flurry passed. Her shocked friends realized that her left arm had been severed nearly to the shoulder.

Blanchard's father fashioned a quick tourniquet from his surfboard leash and led everyone to shore.

Hamilton was rushed to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, bumping her father from the operating room where he was about to have knee surgery. Although she lost about 60 percent of her blood following the attack and underwent several surgeries, she was stabilized and released after a few days.

After the attack, Hamilton vowed to return to surfing as soon as possible. That's exactly what she did, one month later.

Within two years Hamilton had won a national amateur title.

Hamilton then went on to surf professionally, and her story has been told in the New York Times' best-selling autobiography and film, "SOUL SURFER."
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