11/11/2006 Kyle Gruen (Hawaii)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2006.

11/11/2006 Kyle Gruen (Hawaii)

Postby sharkbait » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:53 pm

Vancouver man survives shark attack off Maui

Advertiser Staff

WAILUKU, Maui — A 29-year-old Vancouver man was attacked by a shark today while swimming off Kama'ole Beach Park II in Kihei.
Kyle Gruen was about 30 to 40 feet offshore when the shark grabbed his left side at about 12:30 p.m., injuring his thigh and hand.

Gruen was carried to shore by bystanders and taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he was expected to be stitched up.

"He was swimming along when just all of a sudden it got him," said his twin brother, Jeff Gruen, who was at the beach when the shark attack happened. "He pulled away and kicked it off, and it took off right away."

Gruen did not get a good look at the shark, his brother said.

County and state aquatics officials followed protocol and closed the stretch of shoreline where the attack occurred. The beaches will remain closed at least until tomorrow morning.

There were three previous shark attacks this year in Hawai'i, the last occuring May 31 near Chun's Reef on O'ahu's North Shore when a spearfisherman was bitten on the left forearm by what was believed to be a tiger shark.

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Postby sharkbait » Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:00 am

Maui Beaches Open After Shark Attack
Lisa Kubota - lkubota@kgmb9.com

Several Maui beaches are open again after a shark attacked a Canadian tourist over the weekend. The all-clear came after searches by jet ski and helicopter on Sunday turned up no sign of the animal.

The 29-year-old victim is recovering after being bitten on his left hand and leg. Kyle Gruen is listed in stable condition at the Maui Memorial Medical Center. He and his twin brother arrived from Vancouver less than 24 hours before the attack. Gruen was swimming 30 to 40 feet offshore Kamaole Beach II in Kihei around one o'clock Saturday afternoon when the shark attacked.

"A guy came running by me and asked me if my brother had been swimming. I said yes and and he's like, 'Oh, he just got bit by a shark. You better get over there quick,'" said the victim's brother, Jeff Gruen. "It was a sinking, brutal feeling."

Bystanders and lifeguards rushed to help the injured tourist who used to be a competitive swimmer.

"We placed a tourniquet on his leg to stop the bleeding," said Donald Cole, who helped the victim. "The hand was bleeding really, really bad. The puncture marks were deep, wide."

Authorities quickly put up warning signs and closed a two-mile long stretch of beach. The Maui County Fire Department's helicopter and lifeguards on jet skis conducted a search, but authorities are not sure what kind of shark it was. Despite the danger, many tourists took the warning in stride.

"Maui is a beautiful island and the fact that there's sharks here, we're always aware there's sharks here and we should always be on the lookout," said Maryland visitor Trish Reid.

Jeff Gruen said it was a bad start to their vacation, but he knows his twin brother is lucky to be alive.

"He's dealing it with remarkably well. He knows it could have been a lot worse. His biggest worry is we're out here for a friend's wedding and he's worried about disrupting that. He's actually the best man in the wedding," he said.

The last shark attack on Maui happened in February. A 15-year-old girl was standing in knee-high water at Makena State Park when a shark bit her leg.

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Postby sharkbait » Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:47 pm

B.C. shark attack victim to recover fully, twin brother says
Last Updated: Monday, November 13, 2006 | 11:07 AM ET
CBC News
Training as a lifeguard helped a B.C. man fight off a shark attack in Hawaii that left him in hospital with hand and leg gashes — injuries he's expected to recover from, his twin brother says.

Kyle Gruen, 29, was bitten during a shark attack on Saturday while he was swimming off a Maui beach, Jeff Gruen said. He was in stable condition at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Jeff Gruen, at the Maui hospital, says his brother was swimming at least nine metres offshore when the shark attacked. 'It bit him and he turned around and kicked.'
(The Maui News, Amanda Cowan/AP) "He's got a pretty big gash on his left leg," said Jeff Gruen, who was on the beach at the time of the attack. "It's probably 15 to 18 centimetres long and it's split open about eight to 10 centimetres.

"He's got probably four or five other teeth marks in his leg and his left hand got hit as well."

Jeff Gruen said two tendons in his brother's hand were cut and two fingers have limited motion. Doctors expect to be able to repair all the damage, he said.

The Vancouver man was swimming about nine to 12 metres offshore when the shark attacked his left side.

"It bit him and he turned around and kicked," said Jeff Gruen. "It's kind of a lifeguarding move that we both learned when we used to lifeguard."

The shark took off after being kicked, and Kyle Gruen swam away as quickly as he could, his brother said.

Beaches in the region of Kihei, where the attack happened, have been closed.

Saturday's shark attack was the fourth in Hawaii this year.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/11/1 ... ictim.html
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Postby sharkbait » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:20 am

Wednesday » November 15 » 2006

B.C. man recounts terror of shark attack

CREDIT: The Associated Press
Kyle Gruen of Coquitlam, B.C., says he has been nicknamed "nibbles" by his friend following a shark attack off Hawaii.

HAWAII - As Kyle Gruen paused to admire a few fish during a workout swim off a Maui beach last Saturday, he thought for a moment ''this would be a good place for a shark to hang out.''

Seconds later, a large shark closed its jaws on Gruen's left thigh and hand.

''It hit me from the side and I felt it clamp down with a lot of force,'' said Gruen, who returned to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Tuesday to talk to reporters and meet one of the people who helped him to shore after the attack. ''From then on it was pretty much reflex. I was turning to get away and I looked at him. It seemed as big as I was and I've since heard it was anything from six to 12 feet in length. I'm sure he was as scared of me as I was of him.''

The shark left five big puncture wounds, including a large tear, in the 29-year-old Coquitlam man's thigh, from just above the knee to a few centimetres from the groin.

The shark also injured Gruen's left hand in the same bite, severing tendons and leaving his fingers flopping as he tried to swim for shore.

''I was pretty scared for my life at that point,'' he said. ''I was in shock, it didn't hurt at all but I was afraid I was going to bleed out.''

Gruen first saw how badly injured he was when he reached shallow water and pulled himself onto a rock ledge.

''I remember looking down at my leg and watching the little pools of water on the rock filling with blood. I could see the tendons in my hand.''

Maui resident Donald Cole was in the shallows when he heard Gruen calling for help and was the first to reach the injured Canadian.

''Kyle was yelling 'shark, shark,''' said Cole, who was at the hospital Tuesday. He waded and swam to where Gruen sat and knew immediately he was badly injured. ''His leg was mangled and there was blood all over the place.''

Cole was soon joined by a nearby kayaker and two other men. Together they carried Gruen out of the water and onto a lawn chair at Kihei's Kamaole Nalu Resort.

Paramedics arrived within minutes.

Gruen was discharged from hospital on Monday following a second round of surgery to close the wounds and repair the tendons in his hand, and in time to act as best man at his friends' wedding. ''I made it to the wedding, although I didn't last very long at the reception,'' said Gruen, who noted doctors have told him he can expect a full recovery although he'll have a well-defined scar on his leg from the bite.

Chris Corrigall, who with Kyle Gruen's twin brother Jeff and friend Erik Garrett, accompanied Kyle back to the hospital on Tuesday, joked that another wedding guest had warned Kyle not to steal the spotlight from the bride.

The men, all from the Lower Mainland, were among dozens of guests who flew from Vancouver for the wedding.

Jeff Gruen noted that Kyle's friends have since given him the nickname ''nibbles.''

''It's pretty much a perfect place and time to suffer an injury like this; I've got 80 of my closest friends nearby,'' said Kyle Gruen, who has been using a wheelchair since leaving the hospital.

Jeff Gruen also called his parents, Kay and Frank Gruen, in Coquitlam as he drove to the hospital on Saturday.

''That was hard to do,'' he said. ''I just told them what had happened and assured them right away that Kyle was going to be OK.''

Although he can joke about the attack now, Kyle Gruen said the event was terrifying.

''I think it will be pretty normal for me to have nightmares about it I already have,'' he said.

Vancouver Sun

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Postby sharkbait » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:21 am

Visitor Injured in Maui Shark Attack
Sabrina Hall - shall@kgmb9.com

Kyle Gruen, 29, of Vancouver was attacked by a shark on Kamaole Beach 2 Saturday. He was swimming about 30 feet offshore.

Brad Quinto of Maui County Ocean Safety pointed to the spot where it happened.

"It was that end of the beach, the north end of the beach, at the edge of those rocks," he said.

"I just saw him panicking once he got on the rocks, yelling and waving his arms and other people heard," recalled a man who helped rescue Gruen.

"I hear yelling and screaming, 'Shark, shark!' I ran towards the water and I saw the guy struggling to get up on the reef," said bystander Donald Cole.

Cole and three others helped pull the man ashore. They used a tie strap from a canoe to stop the bleeding.

"He had two bites on the inner thigh and two or three in the back side that were pretty wide," Cole said. "His hand was bleeding really, really bad. The puncture marks were deep, wide.

"He was traumatized from the incident and asked me to run down the beach and get his brother," Cole added.

"When the guy told me my brother was bit by a shark, it was a sinking, brutal feeling," recalled the victim's twin brother, Jeff Gruen. "I can't really, I don't know how to describe it. Once I got over there and saw he didn't lose any limbs - it was just some big bad cuts and blood - I still felt really bad, but it could have been a lot worse."

Paramedics arrived on the scene and whisked him to Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition. Lifeguards aren't sure what type of shark it was, but a firefighter who was in a helicopter at the time of the attack told KGMB9 he saw two 12-foot tiger sharks in the area.

"I know some kayakers in that vicinity, in that area, noticed a really dark object bigger than the kayak," said Quinto.

After the attack, lifeguards immediately closed the beach. But some visitors didn't mind the extra precaution.

"We're going to go to the swimming pool this afternoon and then go to a different beach tomorrow," said Chris Malloy, a visitor from Reno.

Gruen arrived in Hawaii only yesterday, and his brother says he is supposed to be the best man in a wedding on Monday. Meanwhile, lifeguards say Kamaole beaches 1, 2 and 3, and another two miles of shoreline will be closed for 24 hours as a precaution.

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