Saturday, October 2, 1999

Shark bites
surfer near

A Kona boy, 16, suffers severe
lacerations on an upper arm and
a gouge in the lower part of the arm

By Rod Thompson
Big Island correspondent


KAILUA-KONA -- A 16-year-old Kona boy was in critical condition at Kona Hospital today after being attacked by a shark while surfing near Kailua-Kona.

Hawaii County and state officials were to launch a land, sea and air hunt this morning for the shark, Civil Defense Director Harry Kim said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was surfing in the evening off Old Kona Airport State Park, slightly north of downtown Kailua-Kona, police said.

He was attacked by a shark 6 to 8 feet long, and police were notified at 6:26 p.m.

Fire Department paramedic Stan Zukeran-Kerr said he arrived at the scene to find 12 to 20 people standing with the boy, trying to comfort him.

The boy was "pretty shocky" from loss of blood and appeared dazed, Zukeran-Kerr said.

The boy said he had been surfing when the shark came up from below and bit his right arm.

The boy pulled his arm away and then paddled back to shore by himself using his left arm.

People on shore assisted him, with someone wrapping a cloth around the wounds, Zukeran-Kerr said.

A later Fire Department statement described the boy's arm as "mangled," with bone exposed.

Police said there were severe lacerations on the boy's upper right arm and a gouge in the lower part of the arm. Zukeran-Kerr described the lower injury as a large gaping wound.

Police said Civil Defense closed the shoreline from the Queen Liliuokalani Children's Center to the area fronting Kona Bay Estates subdivision, pending today's action.

Kim said a county helicopter based in South Kohala would do an aerial search for the shark today.

Agents from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources were to search by boat and walking the shoreline, he said.

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