BREAKING NEWS August Complex: 152 structures destroyed in Trinity County Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

A surfer in Hawaii survives after a shark bites a chunk out of his surfboard

On Sunday evening, Max Keliikipi was driving home from work when he saw the waves at Makaha Beach on Oahu, Hawaii.The 16-year-old grabbed his surfboar...

Posted: Aug 15, 2019 5:36 AM

On Sunday evening, Max Keliikipi was driving home from work when he saw the waves at Makaha Beach on Oahu, Hawaii.

The 16-year-old grabbed his surfboard and paddled out, as he's done almost every day this summer.

About 100 yards away from shore, he saw something sticking out of the water, but "blending in with the reef," he told CNN.

Keliikipi thought it was a turtle at first, but soon realized it was a shark. So he jumped up, sitting with his feet on his board, not letting his legs dangle below the surface as easy prey for the aquatic predator.

The shark went straight for him, first bumping him off his surfboard.

"It bit a huge chunk off my board." he said. "If my feet were a little further up the board, it would have bit my toes off."

Keliikipi started swimming back to shore. "It was fight or flight. I chose flight."

Undaunted, he plans to keep surfing

Comparing the shark's length to his 6-foot surfboard, Keliikipi reckoned the shark was 7 to 10 feet long. At first he thought it was black fin, but his lifeguard friends said it was probably a tiger shark, he said.

Signs have been posted at the beach to warn beachgoers about the recent shark presence in the shallow waters.

He says he's known somewhere between 10 and 20 surfers who've been attacked by sharks.

"It's not common, but it's not uncommon either," he said.

Keliikipi doesn't plan to quit surfing, but the attack inspired him to be more mindful on future maritime adventures. If you're going surfing, he says to "go with someone who knows the area well."

And don't panic. "That's what kills people."

CNN has a guide on how to survive a shark attack, which includes tactics like acting "big" and trying intimidate the shark, and deliberately hitting the shark. It also says to spring for the shore, which is what Keliikipi did.

But don't let fear keep you on the shore forever.

"I don't want to go inside," he said. "That's how the sharks win."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 793065

Reported Deaths: 15189
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2621336401
Riverside574821172
San Bernardino52873908
Orange523821150
San Diego45147765
Kern31572354
Fresno27843362
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20748390
Santa Clara20587299
San Joaquin20019421
Stanislaus16398339
Contra Costa16056201
Tulare15687256
Ventura12477146
Imperial11606314
San Francisco1086599
San Mateo9625144
Monterey956869
Santa Barbara8930110
Merced8820137
Kings753477
Sonoma7160120
Marin6613113
Solano619457
Madera442465
Placer350742
San Luis Obispo343827
Butte276940
Yolo276554
Santa Cruz22768
Sutter167910
Napa164113
San Benito131211
Yuba11307
El Dorado10744
Mendocino87518
Lassen7350
Shasta72414
Glenn5633
Nevada5246
Colusa5196
Tehama5134
Lake51211
Humboldt4896
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 64°
Oroville
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 65°
Paradise
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 64°
Chester
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 42°
Red Bluff
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 61°
Willows
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 64°
A small trough of low pressure moved over the Pacific Northwest on this first day of autumn, and it brought more gusty wind and an improvement to the air quality for most of us. The breezes will continue through the week, and other changes are coming soon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events