GRAPHIC: Hawaii teen recounts shark bite off Oahu that will leave him with a ‘sick scar’
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Eighth grader Parker Blanchette, 14, was surfing off North Beach last Monday when a shark clamped onto his leg.
His first instinct was to push it away ― and get back to shore.
“It was less than a point second,” said Blanchette, who surfs regularly at North Beach.
“It was super quick, but it immediately just felt like a normal leg just with a little blood on it, but I thought it was pretty darn cool once I got bit.”
Blanchette recounted the incident publicly for the first time Monday, saying that the shark bite hasn’t deterred him from pursuing his dreams of becoming a big wave surfer.
It was the first recorded shark bite in the Windward Oahu location.
Blanchette said he was paddling about 30 feet offshore when the shark ― which he estimated at about 5 1/2 feet long ― latched onto to his leg.
“It was so fast. I didn’t even get a good grip, but I kinda pushed it off from the lower jaw,” he said.
“It just looked like I hit some reef or something because I wasn’t making a big deal out of it, but whenever I got in, my friend kinda helped me walk to the lifeguard tower and they got the ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) and helped me up the hill.”
It would be a traumatic ordeal for most, but Blanchette didn’t let himself panic.
Parker’s mother, Amanda, recounted the phone call she got from her son. “He said, ‘Hey mom, I need you to come pick me up, I got bit by a shark and I’m gonna need a couple of stitches.’”
Blanchette spent a few days in the hospital requiring dozens of stitches. But with the exception of some deep cuts, no arteries were damaged and the teen is already itching to get back into the water.
“I’m happy for him to get back out, but if we can delay the big wave stuff here until he’s got his own insurance, that’d probably be ideal,” said Stephen Blanchette, Parker’s father.
Before his encounter, Parker had always been fascinated with sharks ― and now even more so.
“I think that even though there’s a lot of sharks, don’t be scared of the water,” Blanchette said. “It’s just we’re kind of in their area.”
The way he sees it, he now has a cool story and the marks to back it up.
“I’m gonna have a sick scar soon,” Blanchette said. “It’s gonna look epic.”
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