Recovering bite victim says he's got no beef with shark


POSTED: Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Veteran surfer Scott Henrich said he did not see the shark until it surfaced and clamped down on his right thigh and knee and part of his surfboard about 300 yards off Kalama Park in South Maui. Its head was about 2 feet wide, he said.

“;I hit it a couple of times on top of the nose, and it swam away,”; Henrich said.

The beach reopened yesterday after being closed all day Monday.

Henrich, 54, who received more than 100 stitches before being released from a Maui hospital, said now he is wondering whether the injury will affect his participation in sports.

He competes in triathlons and teaches golf at Elleair Golf Course in Kihei, in addition to a job as a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Island Properties.

“;I don't know if I can hit a golf ball again,”; he said.

Henrich, who is recuperating at home in Kihei, said his leg is swelling and sore.

He said he did not know what kind of shark bit him or its length, but it “;was big enough.”;

Henrich said he was only in the water two to three minutes a little after 6 a.m. Monday when the shark bit him.

He managed to catch a wave on his surfboard most of the way to shore and was able to flag down a car to call for help.

Larry Sarner, who was wave skiing, wrapped his wound to help stop the bleeding, he said.

Luckily, the police and fire stations were nearby, and the wound did not slice an artery.

“;(Otherwise) I wouldn't have made it,”; he said.

Henrich said he has been circled by hammerhead sharks in Haleiwa, Oahu, and bumped by a shark on Kauai, but never bitten until now.

Henrich said he plans to hang his shark-bitten surfboard as a souvenir—a Billy Hamilton-shaped board he is sad to lose because it gave such good rides.

He hopes to get in touch with Hamilton to get an- other board.

Henrich said he plans to surf again in the same area.

“;You're out there in the food chain, and sooner or later like anything, your number's up,”; he said. “;I'm not going to hold it against the shark. It's just bad luck. ... I was in the wrong spot. I was in his breakfast area.”;