Shark's bite jolts North Shore surfer from a moment of reflection

Shark's bite jolts North Shore surfer from a moment of reflection
(Image: Marjorie Mariano)
(Image: Marjorie Mariano)

NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Haleiwa woman says doctors saved her leg after she was bitten by a shark on Oahu's North Shore.

Marjorie Mariano, 54, was surfing off of Laniakea Beach at about 6 p.m. Sunday. She surfs there often.

"I felt something big and I felt the bite really hard," Mariano said. "I turned my body and I looked at the shark face biting my leg and I start to paddle like a maniac. I was like I need to get out of here."

The injury is on her left leg and stretches from her knee to her upper thigh.

The shark's bite mark is also imprinted on her surfboard.

Other surfers helped bring her ashore and she was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

Mariano said it was an emotional surf session filled with memories of a recent tragedy before the shark attacked.

"Next thing I know, I start to think about one of my best friends that got murdered, Telma Boinville," she said. "We were very connected. We were soul sisters."

Mariano used to surf with Telma Boinville, before she was brutally murdered during an apparent robbery just weeks ago.

If Boinville was still here and Mariano wasn't in the hospital, she says they probably would have watched the full moon together.

"We used to go see the full moon rising at Laie Point," Mariano said.

DLNR records show this was the sixth shark incident in Hawaii in 2017.

Mariano was the fourth person to be injured.

In April, a surfer was bitten at Kekaha Beach on Kauai.  Six months later, another surfer nearly lost his hand at the same beach. At Oahu's Makaha Beach in November, a shark injured a surfer's leg.

Lifeguards put up warning signs on Monday at Laniakea Beach after Mariano's attack.

Experts warn surfers to be cautious at dusk and dawn.

"It's very well known that the worst times to go out in the water are early morning and at dusk when the lights are going down," said Andrew Rossiter, Waikiki Aquarium director. "Those are the times that sharks are most active."

Mariano will undergo more surgeries this week.

She says the incident won't stop her from going back in the water again, one day.

To help Mariano's medical costs, click here.

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