Shark Attack Victim's Family Grateful He's Alive

Victim's Wife Lisa Miller
Victim's Wife Lisa Miller
Lanikai Closed
Lanikai Closed
Rescue Boat
Rescue Boat
Rescue Helicopter
Rescue Helicopter

July 20, 2007 1:21 AM

By Leland Kim

WAIMANALO (KHNL) -- A shark attacked a man in the waters off Waimanalo Thursday. Harvey Miller, a visitor from Toledo, Ohio, was attacked while snorkeling at Bellows Field Beach Park in windward Oahu. Emergency crews responded to the call just after 3 pm Thursday.

The 36-year-old visitor was swimming about 150 yards offshore when the shark sank its teeth into him. Witnesses at the scene said the victim suffered a severe wound to his leg.

Miller was able to stay conscious throughout the ordeal. He even described the shark to lifeguards as between six and ten feet long.

Paramedics took him to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition. There have been no reports of shark attacks in the last 16 years, according to Bellows employees.

Bellows Beach will be closed for at least 24 hours and warning signs have been posted along the shore. Officials will assess the shoreline Friday morning before reopening the beach.

Miller's family is thankful he's alive. KHNL News 8's Leland Kim has the first on-camera interview with his wife Lisa.

The extended family lives in different parts of the mainland. They decided to meet up in Hawaii for some rest and relaxation, but will go home with one heck of a vacation story.

Bellows Field Beach Park is a popular spot for locals and visitors. Lisa Miller's husband Harvey was snorkeling about a hundred fifty yards out, looking for turtles when he came face to face with an eight-foot shark.

"The shark was on his leg, he had attached himself, and Harvey punched him twice on the side by his fin, and the shark let go and he swam away," said Lisa Miller.

At first, Lisa wasn't sure if her husband was alive or dead.

"I was -- it's your worse thought," she said. "I was worried that he was dead, that he was mangled and shredded."

After fending off the shark, Harvey started heading for shore.

"Harvey swam in 75 yards, and then he felt like he couldn't go any more," said Lisa Miller. "So, he was screaming, 'Shark! Help!' A gentleman on shore swam out 75 more yards, and brought him safely to shore. And if he hadn't been there, (Harvey) knows he wouldn't have made it."

Part of his calf is missing, and some tendons were cut. Surgeons are working on his leg at the Queen's Medical Center. The family is grateful for the aloha shown by all those involved in Harvey's rescue and care.

"Everybody here has been wonderful, said Lisa Miller. "We're so thankful for the kindness we've been shown."

A relaxing vacation turned into a story of a lifetime.

Lisa Miller said her husband Harvey was in good spirits just before going into surgery, even joking about how glad he was he got a couple rounds of golf in before the shark attack. The family hopes the rest of their trip is uneventful.