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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Friday, August 30, 2002

Shark chomps into board at popular surf spot

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Staff Writer

A tiger shark 11- to 12-feet long gashed the foot of a 16-year-old and ripped the end off his surfboard Wednesday in the Kewalo Basin channel.

Shawn Farden suffered a long slice on the instep of his left foot, but did not feel the wound was serious enough to require hospital care.

National Marine Fisheries Service biologist John Naughton said he inspected the tooth imprints on the surfboard, and concluded it was a large tiger shark.

"It was a classic hit-and-run attack. It took the tail right off the board," Naughton said.

Tiger sharks often make an initial attack, and then back off before either resuming the attack or departing.

On biting the board, the shark likely concluded it was not something he wanted a second taste of, Naughton said. Attacks on surfers and surfboards often involve only a single bite.

Farden reported he was paddling back out the east side of the channel after catching a wave when the shark hit.

"He said it grabbed the board and shook it. When he looked, the back end of his board was heading out the channel," Naughton said.

A south swell provided good surfing at the break called Kewalos, and as a result of the waves the water was not clear.

"Because of the swell, there was a lot of suspended material in the water," Naughton said.