After 2 shark bites off Waikoloa, these paddlers are prepared to jump into action

After 2 shark bites off Waikoloa, these paddlers are prepared to jump into action

WAIKOLOA, BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Big Island beaches near Waikoloa are back open, a day after a part-time Hawaii resident suffered a shark bite while kayaking.

On Tuesday morning, paddlers from the Waikoloa Canoe Club were heading out of Anaehoomalu Bay when they spotted Kimberly Bishop and her husband.

Bishop said a shark bumped her kayak from behind, causing it to flip over. The creature then bit her right thigh.

The couple flagged down the paddlers who happened to be passing by.

“Our folks went into action and pulled her over to the outrigger canoe -- it was a 6-person outrigger canoe -- pulled her over. The good news is one of the paddlers was Dr. Jim Budde who had been an emergency room doctor for many years,” said John Ciambrone, president of Waikoloa Canoe Club.

The paddlers called 911 as they pulled Bishop and her kayak back to shore, which took about 20 minutes.

The 65-year-old was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital in stable condition.

“Because we had a cell phone out there with us, the ambulance was arriving as they were getting back into the beach so the timing was perfect,” said Ciambrone.

Last month, a shark bit a one-man canoe being paddled by another club member near Anaehoomalu Bay. Mike Bernstone wound up in the water with a gash on his leg.

The Waikoloa Canoe Club made some changes after the scary encounter.

“We’ve now equipped our canoes with tow lines, flotation devices, and other safety equipment so that if there’s a problem out there, we’re ready to manage it to the best of our ability,” said Ciambrone.

“We don’t have a lot of shark sightings in our area so this is pretty unique, but sharks are out there. It’s the ocean.”

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