Surfer survives shark scare

Published: Sep. 5, 2011 at 4:56 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 6, 2011 at 12:35 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Moses Felipe
Moses Felipe
Cameron Felipe
Cameron Felipe
Jon Sojot
Jon Sojot

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

PEARL CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) - "He left the skeg alone. He bit down. Went over the skeg," Moses Felipe said, propping up the paddleboard he was riding Sunday.

The gouges on the underside are deep and jagged.

"I just heard and felt the crunch," he said.

Felipe, 58, said he thought he hit a reef fifty yards out at Nimitz Beach on Oahu's southwest shore.  He looked back toward his left foot and saw a shark clamping down on his ten-foot board.

"He jerked me around. I fell in the water. I came up. I seen the shadow. I said, 'Oh, shoot! Oh, my God!'" he said.

Felipe's son, Cameron, was on his own board twenty feet away.

"All I saw was him fall off the board and I saw the shark's tail just 'pak!' on the water," he said.

The diameter of the bite measures sixteen inches. Cameron had a good look at the animal.

"Six to eight feet. Huge," he said.

Authorities posted shark warning signs at Nimitz and White Plains beaches through the afternoon and night, then lifted them Monday morning.

Regulars to that shore said they see sharks often.

"Quite a bit out here. When we dive there's tiger sharks like that around," Jon Sojot said.

"There was actually one that came out, maybe about six feet, that was laying on the sand. And it went back out. So it didn't really bother anybody," Jeff Mabute said.

After the shark bit Felipe's board it swam away. So did he.

"Instead of pulling my leash to get the board to me, I swam to my board making a lot of splashes. I thought, 'What am I doing?'" he said.

"I was terrified. First thing I looked at was his hands and legs, make sure it was there. And all we did was paddle in as fast as we could," Cameron Felipe said.

"I finally made it to shore and I just flopped. And I said, 'Gosh. Thank God we're safe," Moses Felipe said.

He said he's still shaking from his close call. He's seen sharks before but never that close.
Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved