05/31/2006 Ronald Deguilmo (Hawaii)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2006.

05/31/2006 Ronald Deguilmo (Hawaii)

Postby sharkbait » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:49 am

Diver bitten by shark off North Shore

By John Windrow
Advertiser Staff Writer

A diver at a North Shore surf spot was rescued by two friends after he fended off an attacking shark with his spear gun yesterday.

Family and friends identified the man as Ronald Deguilmo, 26, of Waipi'o. Noel Deguilmo said Ronald Deguilmo is his younger brother and is a restaurant manager at the Outback Steakhouse in Waipi'o.

Ronald Deguilmo was free diving in about 25 feet of water with friends at the North Shore surf spot known as Marijuanas near Chun's Reef when he was attacked about 1:30 p.m., said EMS spokesman Bryan Cheplic. He suffered cuts to his left forearm, Cheplic said.

James Santiago, 24, of Pearl City, and Tommy Miller, 29, of Mililani, who work at the steakhouse with Deguilmo, were with him at the time of the attack.

"He was about 20 yards away from us," Santiago said. "I looked up and I heard him screaming, 'I got hit! I got bit by a shark!' "

"We started swimming toward him and tried not to panic."

Miller said at first he didn't take it seriously. "At first we were like, he was playing around, and then we saw that he got hit."

Deguilmo showed them his left forearm where he had been bitten.

"It looked pretty bad," Santiago said. "It was pretty bloody. It was deep."

Santiago said that as he and his friend swam Deguilmo to shore, he told them that he had whacked the shark with the butt of his spear gun.

"He told us that he hit it when the shark was tugging at his arm," Santiago said. "When he hit it, it let him go."

Miller said that the two of them took turns, one supporting Deguilmo and the other swimming behind with a spear gun, keeping lookout in case the shark returned.


Miller said he and Santiago never saw the shark, "Only he (Deguilmo) saw it," Miller said. "We were nervous, but we were more worried about getting our friend in."

He said when they reached shore, they went to a house and asked the people there to call 911.

Ronald Deguilmo was taken to Wahiawa General Hospital and then transferred to St. Francis Medical Center West, said his brother, Noel Deguilmo.

"They said he would recover but he might not have all the feeling in his fingers," Noel Deguilmo said.

After the attack, city lifeguards posted warning signs from Laniakea to Waimea Bay.

Lifeguards were assigned to patrol the beaches along that stretch until nightfall yesterday and were to reassess the situation this morning, said Cheplic, the EMS spokesman.

On May 22, two shark sightings in the same area spooked swimmers and prompted the posting of several warning signs.

Surfers and lifeguards spotted two 13-foot sharks and two sharks 6 feet to 8 feet long cruising near Chun's Reef and Piddleys.

At the time of the sighting, about 10 surfers and swimmers were in the water, and half of them swam ashore after lifeguards alerted people with bullhorns.

Shortly after the sighting at Chun's Reef, lifeguards spotted several sharks near Laniakea, prompting lifeguards to deploy on jet watercraft to chase people out of the water.


Before yesterday's incident, the most recent O'ahu shark attack occurred March 23, when a 28-year-old visitor from Vancouver, British Columbia, suffered five puncture wounds in her left calf from a shark that bit and released her.

On Feb. 28, a 15-year-old Kihei girl received a severe bite wound when an 8-foot-long shark ripped into her lower right leg at Makena State Park on Maui.

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Postby sharkbait » Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:05 pm

Shark bites spear diver

Lifeguards close some North Shore beaches after a snorkeler suffers an arm gash

A SHARK, described as at least 9 feet long, apparently bit a 29-year-old man who was spearfishing yesterday near "Leftovers," a surf spot on the North Shore.

It is the second shark bite near the surf spot in three months and follows shark sightings that prompted warnings at nearby beaches last week.

James Santiago said he and the victim, whom he identified as Ronald Deguilmo, were spearfishing with another friend about 250 yards offshore in about 20 to 25 feet of water at about 1:30 p.m. when Deguilmo yelled, "I got bit!"

Santiago said he and Thomas Miller, the other diver, wrapped Deguilmo's left forearm with T-shirts they were wearing and brought him to shore.

Santiago described Deguilmo's shark bite as 2 1/2 inches wide, 4 or 5 inches long and at least 2 inches deep. "It was pretty bad," he said.

Deguilmo never lost consciousness, but Santiago said he could not clench his fist.

Paramedics, lifeguards and firefighters arrived and took Deguilmo to Wahiawa General Hospital, where he was treated and then transferred to St. Francis West Medical Center, where doctors were to operate on him last night. A nursing supervisor said he was in stable condition.

Santiago said tendons in Deguilmo's left hand might need to be repaired.

Deguilmo was the only one who saw the shark, which he described as between 9 to 12 feet long.

Deguilmo told them the shark was tugging at his left forearm. He hit the shark with his spear gun a couple of times before it released his arm, Santiago said.

Bryan Cheplic, an Emergency Medical Services and Ocean Safety Division spokesman, said lifeguards closed beaches for about a mile in each direction after the attack and advised people to stay out of the water.

Keoni Johnson, who witnessed the shark attack, looked over the North Shore beach where it happened yesterday, near the "Leftovers" surf spot.

But at 3 p.m., signs were not up at the beach where the shark bite occurred, and tourists were snorkeling as a Fire Department helicopter hovered overhead.
Marilyn Machado, who is renting a beach house about 250 yards down the beach from "Leftovers," said she saw the firefighters and paramedics but did not know about the shark attack until a reporter informed her.

"I was just snorkeling this morning," she said, pointing to the area next to where the shark attack occurred. She said she waved at the Fire Department helicopter when she saw it hovering over the water.

Cheplic said the beach where the attack occurred -- about halfway between Laniakea and Waimea Bay -- is not staffed and is patrolled by lifeguards on all-terrain vehicles.

He said it might have taken a couple of hours before warning signs were posted because lifeguards have to drive to where the signs are stored and drive back to post them. He said shark warning signs are normally taken down at night because people steal or vandalize them.

Lifeguards will post the signs again this morning and re-evaluate whether to keep the beaches closed after consulting with shark experts, Cheplic said.

Santiago said he was the only one of the three divers who had speared a fish after being in the water for about a half-hour before the attack.

The three friends work together at the Outback Steakhouse in Waipio Gentry, where Deguilmo is a manager.

Conditions were perfect for skin diving and snorkeling when the attack occurred. The water was calm and visibility was good.

On March 24, visiting surfer Liz Dunn, 28, was bitten in her left leg while surfing at "Leftovers" in murky conditions.

Lifeguards also posted shark warning signs last week after sharks were seen off of Chun's Reef and Laniakea on May 22.

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