Lifeguards, surfers rush to help woman bit by shark at Makaha Beach

Woman bit by shark at Makaha Beach
Published: Sep. 7, 2016 at 7:21 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 8, 2016 at 9:07 AM HST
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(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)
(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)
(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)
(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)
(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)
(image: Instagram/xoxo.kahoni)

MAKAHA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A woman was attacked by a shark Wednesday afternoon at a premiere beach in West Oahu.

Lifeguards say the 51-year-old was swimming around 2:30 p.m. about 300 yards off shore of Makaha Beach Park when they heard her screaming.

"They were doing a good job, they were tag teaming it…tourniquets, stop the bleeding. They were just like a machine. Working good and efficient and I'm proud that they're here watching the beach, proud to know them," surfer G-No Opfer said.

Opfer said there were about five surfers already in the water at the time. He was the first to get to her. Opfer said his shortboard was too small to transport her to shore, so he yelled for his friend Danny Boro who had a longboard.

"She said she couldn't breath and she had a hard time breathing. So what was going through my mind was, I was kind of freaked out myself as I was paddling her in because everything was happening so fast and I didn't know how much blood she lost and so I was just, as much as I could, get her on my board and get her to the other rescue board," Boro said.

By that time, lifeguards had paddled out.

"When they grabbed her, they found she had bite marks on her shoulder, her forearm. We brought her in and called the ambulance," said Jason Patterson, an Ocean Safety lieutenant.

Emergency Medical Services officials said she was rushed to a trauma center in serious condition.

Surfers say the woman is known as "Aunty Lulu." They say she's a regular at the beach and a fighter.

"I give her credit, those were some big gashes," Boro said.

"She was sweet as anyone could be, especially in those circumstances. I just thought the Lord protected her because…it looked like it could go back…I'm not a doctor, but it looks like it'll be OK," said Opfer.

Officials haven't said what kind of shark they think it might be, but Boro said he got a glimpse of it.

"As we got her on the big board, I was the last one out there by myself. I turned around I saw a big fin, I can honestly say it was like a 10-foot tiger shark…the fin was like about two and a half foot… so I think it was a 10-foot tiger shark," he said.

"I've seen sharks before surfing but not that close, not on some victim, in front of my face."

Lifeguards were out patrolling the waters looking, but couldn't find anything.

Warning signs were posted along the shoreline and everyone was cleared out of the water. The signs will stay up overnight and the beach will reassessed in the morning.

Lifeguards say the area where the woman was bitten was not far away from where a ten-year-old boy was bitten last October. They say they call it "Turtle Rock" because of a big rock in the water where turtles like to hang out. The boy was hospitalized with severe lacerations to his foot.

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