03/26/2019 - Michael Bernstone - Hawaii

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03/26/2019 - Michael Bernstone - Hawaii

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Michael Bernstone shark attack Hawaii shark attack Anaehoomalu Bay and Kiholo Bay shark attack **

Michael Bernstone, a member of the Waikoloa Canoe Club, was approximately a half-mile (804m) out between Anaehoomalu Bay and Kiholo Bay March 26 when a shark attacked his canoe and knocked him into the water.

Around 10 a.m. he felt a bump on the back of his boat and turned to see a shark’s fin circling him in the water.

Bernstone’s paddling partners were too far away to offer immediate assistance. For the moment he was alone with the shark he estimated to be 12-feet long.

“He comes back to my canoe and latches onto the back end of it. He’s not about to let go,” the 74-year-old told West Hawaii Today. “So, I turn around and start beating him with my paddle.”

After he beat off the shark, it returned a third time and hit the canoe with such force it knocked Bernstone in the water.

Three minutes after the first attack, Bernstone was sitting on top of his overturned vessel and waiting for a fourth charge.

After waiting for a bit, he felt confident enough to enter the water and righted his canoe only to realize he had been injured.

“I looked down into the footwell and I saw it was all bloody and full of red water. It doesn’t look like a shark bite,” Bernstone said of the cut to his calf. “It looks more like a knife wound. I think he either hit me with his fin or brushed up against me or something, but there are no puncture wounds.”

Bernstone and his group paddled back to shore where a fellow paddler, who was a doctor, provided assistance.

After assessing the reported six-inch laceration on the man’s leg, the doctor drove the patient to the North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he received more than 12 stitches.

He is thankful the injury was not worse and the incident will not keep him out of the water.

“I got to get my canoe fixed,” he said. “But I’ll be back.”

Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) dispatched a helicopter to the area but could not spot a shark. A second trip was scheduled March 27 to ensure a shark had not moved into more populated areas.

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