09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

Worldwide Reported Shark Attack Related Incidents in 2008.
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Re: 09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

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Hawaii shark attack victim has big bills but a new outlook on life

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

KANE'OHE — Todd Murashige will have to live with the vicious scars from an attack that ripped his thigh open to the bone — and with the feelings he has for the shark that bit him.
Todd Murashige demonstrated how he was sitting on his surfboard two months ago before he was attacked by a shark.
Todd Murashige demonstrated how he was sitting on his surfboard two months ago before he was attacked by a shark.
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After two months of recovery and rehabilitation, Murashige is now grateful to the shark that changed his life.

"More and more, I'm happy that I got bit," Murashige said yesterday in his home in Kane'ohe, with the mangled surfboard he was riding on Sept. 9 by his side. "To me, it was a wake-up call. Somebody was trying to get my attention to tell me to be a better person."

Murashige, 40, has not been able to work as a self-employed tile setter since he was attacked while sitting on his 5-foot-9 Kerry Tokoro custom board at his favorite surf spot, Crouching Lion. So no income has come from his side to keep up with the rent and other expenses for a family with two young children.
The bite from what was believed to be a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark took a chunk out of Murashige's surfboard and left him with scars on his right leg.
The bite from what was believed to be a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark took a chunk out of Murashige's surfboard and left him with scars on his right leg.
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He originally hoped that the medical plan for his wife, Heather, a teacher at Salt Lake Elementary School, would cover all of his operations and medical expenses. But Todd and Heather now find themselves with several thousand dollars worth of medical bills — mostly physicians' services — that Heather's HMSA plan won't pay, she said.

So they're rapidly running out of the money they had been saving to buy a home of their own.

At the same time, they're also humbled — and embarrassed — that friends and family are organizing a fundraiser for them at The Willows restaurant on Dec. 3.

"If it was somebody else, anybody else — bam! — I'd be there helping out," Heather said. "It's so hard being on the receiving end. If I could get away with it, I would hide in a bush that night."

But all of their money problems are second to the remarkable change that Heather has seen in her husband.

"Before, everything was all about Todd," Todd said. "Surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing, surfing. I should have been dead that day. Now, God has slapped me right in the face, and said, 'Open your eyes, boy.' He not only saved me, he saved my family, too."

Whenever the waves were kicking, Todd would stay out surfing long after the sun went down and wouldn't come home until after 8 p.m., when the kids had already eaten and were getting ready for bed.

He was a championship amateur surfer, with bookcases full of trophies to prove it, whose prayers were mostly for clean waves and, perhaps, another victory.

"'Send me the right waves, put me in the right spot,'" Todd would say before a meet.

His smile caught Heather's attention at Eastside Grill in March 1996, while she was a student at the University of Hawai'i.

They had a couple of children — Tyler's now 10 and Tiffany's 8 — got married in 2001 and had their share of marital tensions.

"Surfing came first in his life," Heather said. "It was hard for me as his wife. I grew up that the most important thing was family. But we were second to Todd, maybe third following his job and surfing. É If you knew him before, it's very obvious there's a difference in him."
a changed man

Surfing buddies such as Jason Mijo were happy to help organize a fundraiser for the Murashiges — and so were businesses and others who are making small and large donations, such as new surfboards and a two-night stay at the Halekulani.

"Immediately the responses came back, 'Hey brah, whatever we can do to help,' " Mijo said. "I haven't heard one sad story, 'Sorry, times are tough, we can't do anything.' It was just an overwhelming response of, 'Whatever we can do small or big, we want to help.' "

As the planning wore on, Mijo saw big changes in Todd.

"You can just tell that he's at a point where it's not about him anymore," Mijo said. "I've seen a big transformation in his heart."

Change did not come immediately.
At a news conference after the attack, left, Todd Murashige had long hair and would often hide his face. Now, right, Murashige boasts a more stylish haircut and a new outlook on life.
At a news conference after the attack, left, Todd Murashige had long hair and would often hide his face. Now, right, Murashige boasts a more stylish haircut and a new outlook on life.
todd_murashige3.jpg (18.94 KiB) Viewed 15666 times
At his only press conference after the attack, Murashige wore long, straight hair that hung over his glasses and often hid his face when reporters asked him how he felt.

"He always had a hard time expressing his feelings in his own words," Heather said. "I love to talk about feelings. For him, it was always a challenge."

When Todd finally got home after four days at The Queen's Medical Center, his attitude was the same, maybe even worse.

"The demands were coming, 'I need you to do this, I need you to do that,' " Heather remembered. "I was like, 'Whoa. Did you forget what happened to you last week?' There was the shock of almost losing him and I felt like I was giving him all that he needed. But his demands were still great."

On Todd's second or third day home, Heather was washing his long hair when she finally had enough.

They both swear they can't remember what they were fighting about, but they clearly remember Heather grabbing Todd's wet hair and getting his attention.

Todd can't quite explain it, but something changed inside him.

The next day, they went to Fantastic Sam's at Windward Mall and Todd limped out with a stylish and polished haircut — and a whole new attitude toward his wife, kids and life.

"When the hair came off, everything else that was ugly and not a part of him anymore also came off," Heather said.

Todd now waits for his kids to get home from school each day, just so he can be around them.

"I see a better man in him," Heather said. "This has been a truly life-changing experience."
looking forward

Todd knows that he can never get rid of the scars that remain from the single bite from what he believes was a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark.

He had been sitting on his board, waiting for the next set when an enormous, blunt shark head "just appeared in my lap."

The attack left him with one set of bite marks ringing his right ankle and another set nearly circumnavigating the entire upper thigh of the 5-foot-4, 115-pound Murashige.

By re-creating the bent position of his right leg while sitting on his board, Murashige compared the sets of scars — and estimated that the shark's bite stretched about 18 inches across.

He'll always have to face the scars, but appears ambivalent about what to do with the damaged board he rode to win so many championships.

The new Todd knows that Heather wants to keep it as a reminder of the day that changed his life.

And after thinking about it for a moment, Heather yesterday said she realized that Todd really wants to discard the last remainder of the old Todd.

"I guess I think he wants to get rid of it and maybe he should," Heather said. "Maybe it's his way of moving on. We always knew that he needed to change but he would say, 'I just don't know how.' "

Now, Murashige is excited about the rest of his life.

He looks forward to some day soon going back to work and returning to the waves — although probably not in the same championship form.

"People who love the ocean know the ocean brings a different type of energy, a different type of cleansing," Murashige said.

As he says, "Surfing is all about timing."

And now Todd Murashige knows that his time is now.

Reach Dan Nakaso at dnakaso@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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Re: 09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

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Surfer Describes Shark Attack

Written by Brooks Baehr
September 11, 2008 06:32 PM
Tod Murashige Hawaii shark attack survivor
Tod Murashige Hawaii shark attack survivor
todd_murashige.jpg (7.1 KiB) Viewed 15668 times

Todd Murashige, 40, thought the shark that attacked him Tuesday may have done enough damage to kill him. But Murashige survived. And Thursday felt good enough to describe his horrifying ordeal.

"I tried to play if off. It's not that bad because it wasn't painful. And I looked back and I want, Oh, it's bad," Murashige said during a press conference at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu.

The attacked happened late Tuesday afternoon at a surf spot called "Crouching Lions" off the coast in Kaaawa along Oahu's Windward Coast.

Murashige is an accomplished surfer. He is a regular at "Crouching Lions." And while he has heard people talk about sharks there, he had never seen one, and never thought he would be attacked.

Then Tuesday, while sitting upright on his 5'9" board waiting for a wave a shark showed up out of nowhere.

"A shark head just about this big just right on my leg," Murashige told reporters while holding his hands about 18" apart. "And I just kind of ... reaction ... just ahh. And just right there and I stuck my fingers into his mouth to try and pry him off," he continued.

The only other person out that afternoon paddled with Murashige back to shore where they called 911.

"When I was lying on the shore I thought I was going to black out, and then, you know, I told myself if I blackout I'm going to die. That's really what I thought in my gut. So I called my wife and I called my mom," he said.

After telling his wife and mother what had happened Murashige was rushed to the Queen's Medical Center.

"He'd lost a lot of blood. But it didn't seem like he'd had an injury to his artery. Mostly it was from his muscle," said Dr. Kevin Christensen, the orthopedic surgeon who operated on Murashige.

Christensen describes Murashige's wounds as a 40 centimeter laceration to his right quadricep, a 20 centimeter gash near his right hamstring, and a smaller cut near his ankle where they may be some nerve damage.

Christensen says Murashige's prognoses is good.

"I anticipate that he'll walk again, and hopefully we'll see about surfing," Christensen added.

"I want to get back to walking first and we'll go from there. Possibly would like to, but it's not really important. Just getting back to my feet and being with my family," Murashige concluded.

As horrifying as this ordeal has been, Murashige said he feels blessed. He said if the shark had taken an arm he would not have been able to paddle back to shore and he would not have seen his wife or two kids again.

Murashige will probably be kept at the hospital through the weekend before going home to continue his recovery.


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Re: 09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

Post by sharkbait »

Family: Surfer Pries Shark's Mouth Open To Survive
Victim Says, 'This One Is Bad'

POSTED: 4:54 pm HST September 10, 2008
UPDATED: 4:59 pm HST September 10, 2008

HONOLULU -- Surfer Todd Murashige's family and friends said they were not surprised he survived such a shark bite because of his is strong water skills and strong faith.

Neighbors could not believe it was Murashige who is the latest shark bite victim.

"He just loves the ocean, but it's one of those things you don't expect to happen it's always somebody else. It's shocking," Murashige's neighbor, Hiroshi Kato, said.

Murashige's parents said their son has been surfing since he was 13. They said he would surf often in Kaaawa so they were stunned when Murashige called them himself from his cellular phone, telling them a shark bit him and that he was going to the hospital. He told them that, "this one is bad."

Murashige said it was a tiger shark that bit him and its head was at least 2-feet wide.

Murashige pried the shark off his leg with his hands and said he could not feel his foot when he got back on his surfboard. However, he did see most of the flesh on his right thigh ripped open, he told his family.

He asked a surfer nearby to follow him in, in case he passed out before reaching shore.

Once on land, bystanders and lifeguards tried to stop the bleeding with a towel.

Paramedics treated Murashige and took him to Queen's Medical Center. He was last reported in stable condition.


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Re: 09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

Post by sharkbait »

Surfer bitten by shark in Ka'a'awa
40-year-old Kane'ohe man reportedly had two wounds on leg

By Eloise Aguiar
Hawaii Shark Attack Location
Hawaii Shark Attack Location
09082008.GIF (17.11 KiB) Viewed 15682 times
Aren Souza, who was surfing about 30 feet away when the shark attack occurred, holds the surfboard of the man who was bitten. Souza said the man "pried the shark's jaw off with his hands."
Aren Souza, who was surfing about 30 feet away when the shark attack occurred, holds the surfboard of the man who was bitten. Souza said the man "pried the shark's jaw off with his hands."
Aren_Souza009082008.jpeg (21.79 KiB) Viewed 15671 times
KA'A'AWA — A shark bit a surfer on the leg yesterday, causing serious injuries, but the man was able to fight off the shark and paddle to shore, a witness said.

The shark attack happened about 5 p.m. offshore from the Crouching Lion restaurant.

"He struggled with it and he pried the shark's jaw off with his hands," said Aren Souza of Punalu'u, who had been surfing about 30 feet away when he heard the man yell. "We caught a wave together and he was able to paddle to shore."

The victim, a 40-year-old Kane'ohe resident, reportedly had a 15-inch open wound on his right leg and a smaller wound to the hamstring area of the same leg. He also had injuries to his fingers.

The man was taken to a hospital in serious condition, said city Emergency Services spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

City Ocean Safety personnel on watercraft cleared the water of surfers. Officials posted warning signs and said they would reassess the situation today.

The attack happened in the area where a shark bit the foot of a bodysurfer on Aug. 28, 2007. The 15-year-old boy was about 400 yards offshore from the Crouching Lion when the shark, believed to be a 12-foot tiger shark, bit him. He was not seriously injured.

Souza, 26, who didn't know the victim, said he was concerned when he saw a lot of blood in the water. He said he told the man to lift his leg onto his surfboard, but the man could not.

It wasn't until they got to shore that he could see why.

"It looked like his leg was almost gone," Souza said.

He said they paddled quickly, covering the three-quarter-mile distance from the surf spot to shore in about five minutes. "I just didn't want him to die," Souza said.
victim was coherent

Capt. Ray Sheldon of the Ka'a'awa Fire Station said it appeared that the shark didn't attack head-on, but made a parallel approach before biting the surfer with the side of its mouth.

"The shark took his leg and part of the board," Sheldon said, adding that the victim was coherent when fire department personnel arrived and that the wound was wrapped in a towel.

"Apparently he made it to shore so it probably didn't sever any arteries. If he had lost a lot of blood, he would have been incoherent," Sheldon said.

The shark's bite took out a chunk of board about a foot long and three inches wide. On one side it looked like someone had cut a rectangular piece from the board. On the other, the bite mark was more ragged and a spot of blood stood out on the white foam core.

Kayne Oku, of Ka'a'awa, said he learned about the attack from a firefighter and went to the shore to see his friend bleeding but calm. Oku said he was told his friend, whom he identified only as Todd, could move his toes and leg.

"He is a really fit guy," Oku said.

Several surfers had gathered on the narrow beach next to Kamehameha Highway where the victim was treated and later taken to the trauma center at The Queen's Medical Center.
2nd attack this year

Oku said Todd was at "Second Bowl" just off Lau Place when the attack occurred. The conditions were good with two-foot waves, he said.

"Fun, good waves," Oku said, realizing that he could have been the victim. "A fun day. We all surfed out there earlier in the day."

Souza, who has surfed the area for 13 years, said he's only heard of two attacks at that spot. Other surfers said sharks are often out there and that people have to expect them.

The fire department helicopter flew over the site to warn surfers about the attack and to ask them to leave, Cheplic said.

"Because it was a confirmed attack, we'll leave one of those rescue trucks here (Wednesday) to ensure public safety," Cheplic said.

The signs will stay up for at least 24 hours, but Oku said some "crazies" will go out right away to surf.

"But me personally, I'm a dad so I'm going to stay out for at least a week and a half," he said.

It was the second reported shark attack on O'ahu this year. A woman was bitten while snorkeling in Makaha on July 25.

That attack was attributed to a tiger shark. The woman was taken to The Queen's Medical Center in serious condition with a wound to her forearm, and was later upgraded to stable condition.

The last fatal shark attack in Hawai'i was on April 7, 2004, when a surfer was mauled by a tiger shark at "S Turns" at Kahana, Maui.

Staff writer Rod Ohira contributed to this report. Reach Eloise Aguiar at 239-7618 or eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser .com.

Reach Eloise Aguiar at eaguiar@honoluluadvertiser.com.

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09/09/2008 Tod Murashige ( Hawaii )

Post by sharkbait »

A shark bit Tod Murashige, 40 KAAAWA, Hawaii Shark Attack in Hawaii

Beaches Remain Closed After Shark Bites Surfer
Lifeguards Warn Beachgoers To Stay Out Of Water

POSTED: 3:41 pm HST September 10, 2008

KAAAWA, Hawaii -- Lifeguards kept beaches from Kaaawa to Kahana closed for most of Wednesday a day after a shark bit a surfer at a popular spot known as "Razorbacks."

Honolulu City and County lifeguards kept watch from the shoreline while police and fire rescue personnel took to the air. For the most part people knew to stay away.

"We are informing anyone who comes to this area that there was this incident yesterday and we are telling everybody what happened and told them to use their best judgment and suggesting they stay out of the water," Lifeguard Lt. John Hoogsteden said.

A shark bit Tod Murashige, 40, in the early evening hours on Tuesday. He is recovering from injuries to his right thigh. His family hopes to know in a day or two more about how much mobility in his leg he will regain.

Lifeguards said they began posting signs warning of sharks on Tuesday night along the coast between Swanzy Beach Park and Kahana Bay.

Herb Wooten and his buddy planned an afternoon of fishing at Kahana.

"I just found out about the shark attack this morning, but I'm still going," he said.

The friends figured they would be safe if they made sure they stayed in the boat and did not venture in the water.

Not everyone got the word.

"We paddled out after a couple of divers today and they came back in once they found out what happened," Hoogsteden said.

The tourists were a bit surprised to see the signs opting to snap photos and find somewhere else to go in the water.


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