Shark attack survivor home from the hospital
Bit by a shark! For most surfers that's their worst nightmare, but it became a reality Tuesday for 28 year-old Waialua resident Joshua Holley.
"I'm doing okay thank you God that I'm alive, lucky to be alive," he said.
KHON2 News spoke with Holley from his hospital bed, as doctors and nurses worked to clean out the wound to his left foot made by the teeth of a ten foot Tiger shark.
"I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty terrified," said Holley.
Earlier in the day, he was at popular North Shore surf break known as Leftovers - between Waimea Bay and Chuns Reef. He was the only surfer out, about 30-40 yards from shore, in murky water, when the Tiger shark came up from behind.
"I looked to the left saw a huge dorsal then the shark came around the nose of the board so I was holding the shark with its gills on the right side of the board, punched it right in the nose once then I remember hitting it again," he said.
The Tiger shark swam off and Holley was rushed to Wahiawa General Hospital.
But, how many people can say they were attacked by a shark and walked away. Holley can and the first thing he did was thank the two surfers who came to rescue.
"I wanted to thank Thomas and another guy Jason for helping me out, I really appreciate it wherever you guys are. God bless you and thank you so much for helping me out."
It's a story of survival, that spread quickly online.
"It spread pretty quick, friends said you're on facebook somebody said there was a pic on the news station I wasn't ready for that," he said.
He says stories of past shark attacks likely helped to save his life.
"Years of reading of shark attacks, they say the nose is the most sensitive part on the shark, survival mode kicked in."
Holley had to get 42 stitches in his foot and will be back at the hospital later this week to re-attach two tendons that were severed.
But it seems this ordeal won't keep him out of the water for long.
"We'll see what the doctor says, but I'll definitely jump back in the water," he said.
Signs remain posted along several North Shore beaches warning about the shark attack.