California Man Recovering from Shark Attack

Aaron Finley
Aaron Finley
Dr. Peter Galpin
Dr. Peter Galpin

WAILUKU, Maui (KHNL) - A California man is recovering at Maui Memorial Hospital after an encounter while swimming off of Wailea on Maui's south shore.

32-year-old Aaron Finley says he was just enjoying the water, when it happened.

This sound engineer from West Hollywood, California will return home with all the makings of a true Hollywood story.

Right down to the bite marks in his board shorts.

Finley says he was just floating on his back alone, or so he thought, when all of a sudden.

"I felt something hit my leg really hard and turned and looked and I saw this big gray thing turn and swim away and realized I'd just been bit".

Finley says he was swimming about 30 yards off shore when the shark attacked.

He also says as quickly as the animal hit, it was gone.

"I was worried he was going to come back for more but not too worried I was just mainly trying to get back to shallow waters where he was less likely to come back".

The shark left a deep gash in his left calf, and a smaller wound in his thigh.

"The uniform characteristic is what I call catch and release, sharks bite with a force of about 6 tons per square inch so if this shark really wanted him it would have had him," said Dr. Peter Galpin, a plastic Surgeon.

Although Finley doesn't know exactly how big the shark was, experts should be able to figure it out by the size of the wound, which he describes as two half moon shaped slices.

All finley remembers, is that it was the largest thing he's ever come face to face with.

"I've seen little reef sharks like this out at Molokini but never anything that big before".

Finley says he'll return to the water upon his next visit to Hawaii saying, what are the odds of this happening once, let alone twice.

This is the third shark attack in Hawaiian waters so far this year.

On May 7th, 63-year-old Peller Marion of California was bitten by a shark while swimming off Keawakapu Beach in Kihei Maui.  A 14-foot long tiger shark took a big chunk out of her right foot and calf.

Then on July 19th, 36-year-old Ohio attorney Harvey Miller was attacked by a shark while snorkeling off Bellows Field Beach Park in windward Oahu.  He suffered broken bones and nerve damage.