"Shark Attack Survivors News Archive"

12/26/2010 Vaun Stover-French ( Hawaii )

Recent listing of shark attacks 2010 and Shark Attack Related Incidents in 2010.
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Re: 12/26/2010 Vaun Stover-French ( Hawaii )

Post by alb »

Shark attack victim thanks friend, others
Kihei teen ‘pretty fortunate’ after suffering bites on leg

December 28, 2010 - By MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writer

Teenager Vaun Stover-French said he felt something grab his leg, then turned around to see a shark nipping at him while he was body boarding near Kahului Harbor on Sunday afternoon.

He estimated the fish was 8 to 10 feet long.

"I was just freaking out just trying to get out of the water," the 15-year-old said Monday, while recuperating at home in Kihei from multiple gashes to his left leg. (A story on Page A3 Monday had an incorrect age due to information provided to The Maui News).

"I didn't know what was going on. It surprised me," he said.

"I felt it grab my leg. I looked back and I saw the shark on my leg. . . . I felt it on my leg so I pulled back and it cut on my leg and it bit on my ankle," he said.

Stover-French said the bite didn't actually hurt but his limb felt numb, perhaps as a result of all the adrenaline rushing through his body.

Around 3:35 p.m. Sunday, Stover-French and his friend Joseph Mannoia were body boarding in an area called Ledges outside the Kahului Harbor breakwater, around 100 feet from shore, when he was bitten.

On Monday, Stover-French, a Kihei Charter High School sophomore, was surrounded by family and friends who came to his home to comfort him and talk about his experience.

"He was pretty fortunate," said Stover-French's father, Randy French, who said he was scared when he first was notified that his son had been attacked by a shark. "He's got some good scars to show."

French said his son has more than 60 staples in his leg and foot.

Stover-French said he has a 10-inch vertical cut on his left shin, which was around 1 inch wide before doctors closed it; and he also has a "pretty deep open cut" on top of his foot near his big toe. Plus, "scratches all over."

He described his heel and his foot as looking like "hamburger meat."

"Now it really freaks me out. It was hard to believe at first," Stover-French said, recalling the attack.

He said doctors have told him he will have to use crutches and allow his wounds to heal for about a week and a half to two weeks before he is able to go about his normal business.

Stover-French thanked his friend Mannoia, also a sophomore at Kihei Charter, for helping him, as well as the other surfers who were in the water. Kai Barger and Tanner Hendrickson, two professionals who were riding inside, helped Stover-French get to shore within 15 minutes after the attack, and bystanders pitched in to maneuver the injured boy over the slippery rocks.

"I wouldn't have made it if my friend wasn't there with me," Stover-French said.

Barger said Sunday he believed that Stover-French could have bled to death, but for a tourniquet made from a board leash and the quick appearance of Maui fire-rescue emergency medical technicians on the shore.

Stover-French said the only other shark encounter he's had was in Kihei many years ago when he saw a shark a few feet from him.

Even though he was bitten this time, Stover-French said he'll still hit the waves. "No reason to stop," he said.

Although the attack scared him, he added, "It's just not something that happens very often."

State Department of Land and Natural Resources officials and Maui County ocean safety officers closed off the ocean for a mile around the place where Stover-French and the shark met. On Monday, waters from Kahului Harbor to Paukukalo were reopened at noon.

A DLNR official said officers saw no signs of a shark Monday.

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.de ... 44436.html
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Re: 12/26/2010 Vaun Stover-French ( Hawaii )

Post by alb »

Body boarder, 16, shark bite victim
Kihei boy is rescued by two surfers off harbor breakwater; area closed by state officials
December 27, 2010 - By HARRY EAGAR and MELISSA TANJI, Staff Writers

A 16-year-old Kihei boy was bitten in two passes by a shark while he was body boarding just outside the Kahului Harbor breakwater Sunday afternoon, police said.

Two local men, both professional surfers, who were inside when the attack happened managed to get the victim close to shore and bind his bleeding left leg with a tourniquet made from a board leash.

The boy suffered lacerations to his lower left leg, calf, foot and ankle area, said police Lt. Wayne Ibarra on Sunday.

The boy was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center and treated by emergency room doctors, who said the injuries were consistent with a shark bite, Ibarra said. There was no other information about the boy's condition, and his name was not revealed.

However, Haiku resident Kai Barger, 21, related what happened when he and his friend Tanner Hendrickson heard screams. Professional photographer Eps Sargent, who was present to take pictures of the pro surfers, also watched the rescue and took photographs. He also described the wounds on the victim.

Barger said the boogie boarders were about 20 yards away when he heard screams. "I thought they had seen a shark," he said Sunday night. He did not at first realize that there had been an attack.

He said the boy probably owed his foot to the fact that boogie boarders wear fins. The shark bit off much of the boy's left heel and took the fin, Barger said. Without the fin, the fish might have taken the foot.

The shark came back for a second pass and, Barger said, ripped the boy's leg from knee to ankle.

He and Hendrickson had some difficulty pulling the boy back using their leashes, because "the waves were pounding."

The location, called Ledges, is gnarly most of the time anyway and was especially tough Sunday from the residue of a swell that had caused high surf warnings to go up Saturday.

Hendrickson and Barger couldn't maneuver the wounded boy over the rocks along the harbor breakwater themselves, because it was slippery and was being pounded, but they called on bystanders to call for help.

Working together the people at the scene got the boy ashore and Barger got his leash tight above the knee.

"I have never, ever seen a shark," although he has been surfing on Maui almost every day since he was 3 years old. But he said he had thought about what to do if something happened. "I think we knew how to deal with it," although putting knowledge into practice was frantic. He estimated it took about 15 minutes from the moment he and Hendrickson heard the screams and when emergency medical technicians arrived.

"It's a good thing they were only four or five minutes from the hospital," he said.

Ibarra said the boy was attacked at about 3:35 p.m. State Department of Land and Natural Resources officials and county ocean safety officers closed the ocean in a one-mile radius from where the incident occurred to assess the situation. As of 8 p.m Sunday, there was no indication when the area would be reopened to oceangoers.

All week, weather forecasters and state officials have been cautioning water users that heavy rains wash dead animals out of forests, which tends to attract sharks. The discolored water increases the chances of a shark-human encounter, they warned.

Barger said he and his friends would surf anyway, and he plans to be back, probably in about the same area, today with his board.

http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.de ... tml?nav=10
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12/26/2010 Vaun Stover-French ( Hawaii )

Post by alb »

Teenage boy in Maui apparently bitten by shark

Part of Kahului Harbor on Maui is closed after a teenage bodyboarder was bitten by what appears to be a shark.

It happened just after 3:30 Sunday afternoon at the popular surf spot known as "Ledges."

According to Maui police, the 15-year old bodyboarder from Kihei has injures on his lower left foot, ankle and leg.

He was taken to Maui Memorial Hospital, where a doctor said his injuries are consistent with those of a shark bite.

Police say at last check the boy is in stable condition, and it's unknown when that part of the harbor will reopen.

http://www.khon2.com/news/local/story/T ... 9rlTQ.cspx
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