Pro surfer on Maui fights off tiger shark

Pro Surfer Thwarts Attack
Published: Oct. 19, 2014 at 2:26 AM HST|Updated: Oct. 20, 2014 at 5:22 PM HST
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MAALAEA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A pro surfer fought off a tiger shark in waters off of Maui. The creature left a huge bite mark on his board.

Kaleo Roberson was enjoying the south swell with his three children at Maalaea Harbor around 11:30 on Saturday morning when he spotted something strange in the murky water. He didn't realize it was a shark until it was just five feet away.

"All I saw was the mouth was just open so I didn't get a chance to see the actual shark in its entirety. All I saw was down the mouth of it," said Roberson. "I slid off my board and moved my leg. It bit right where my leg would have been if I didn't move it, and kind of shoved my board into it.

Roberson said he has been surfing for 30 years and this is the first time he has had a close encounter with a shark.

"I proceeded to grab my board and I think I hit it twice, swung my board at it and just screamed cause at that point it was either it's going to kill me or it's going to eat my family," Roberson said.

Roberson said the shark swam off and he paddled in with his children and another swimmer who was nearby. Officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources believe the bite mark came from a 14-foot tiger shark. Warning signs are posted. Authorities will decide whether to reopen the beach on Sunday morning.

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