MAKENA, Maui (KHNL) - We sometimes hear stories of swimmers or divers fighting off sharks.
But in a strange turn of events, some fishermen and lifeguards on Maui, fought to save a shark.
When a fisherman went to check his net off the coast of Makena, Maui, the catch of the day was not what he expected.
Three sharks were tangled in it. The fisherman who simply goes by, "Kalani" describes the catch, "There were three sharks. A tiger, a white tip and probably a black tip."
His friend Buzz Hebert goes on, "They had net in water and apparently sharks got into it. Like most Hawaiians that they don't want. Kalani ran over to me and fortunately we got the one that could be saved."
With the help of lifeguards, the fisherman pulled his catch onto an inner tube and brought the tangled mess to shore.
A fierce shark was trapped inside. Buzz explains, "the only way we could get it out of the net was to bring it in first."
Once on the beach they tried to free the white-tipped shark.
As it thrashes, they carefully unravel the layers of net.
Without much concern for their own safety, they grab it by the tail.
Lifeguards pull the shark back into the ocean.
Maui Lifeguard John Edlau explains he "took it out of the net and returned it to the ocean where it belongs."
An unusual rescue for this lifeguard. "That's where he belongs out in the ocean. I free dive a lot. They are the cleaners of the ocean, they are there for a purpose. A lot of people hate sharks. I like them."
Of the three sharks in the net, one escaped, one died. And the white tip got a hand back out to sea.
Kalani concludes, "I feel good we saved 2 out of 3."
A couple from Canada sunning on the beach were surprised the lifeguards would risk their lives to save a shark.
Carolynn Nikiforuk says "It is interesting. Nice to see they let a live shark back into the ocean."
And the fisherman, Kalani, reflects as he collects his catch. "Not a good experience to me. I am the trespasser not the shark. I got in their way they never get in my way."