Surfer Rides Shark After Shark Attack
Surfer Jim Rawlinson Rides Shark After it Bites his Surfboard
A Kauai surfer had an experience seemingly ripped out of a movie when he literally rode a shark after being attacked. Jim Rawlinson, 68, was surfing in Hanalei Bay when all of a sudden his board was lifted out of the water. Rawlinson had wandered into every surfer's worst nightmare -- a shark attack.
"All of a sudden I felt this strike on the back of my board and it lifted me kind of up in the air," he said. Rawlinson's surfboard had just been attacked by a large tiger shark.
As he was lifted in the air, Rawlinson slid down the board and inconceivably ended up on top of the shark. The surfer was stuck straddling the deadly animal for nearly ten seconds, a small period of time in a normal situation, but what seemed both an eternity and an instant for Rawlinson.
Surfer Rides Shark, Survives
Rawlinson says he was able to survive the attack because he maintained his composure. As he was straddling the shark, Rawlinson was able to release the the surf leash attached to his leg, allowing him to slide off the shark and escape.
Amazingly, Rawlinson was able to locate his board --which had a bite taken out of it -- and continued to surf for another 45 minutes.
Marine Biologist Terry Lilley was shooting underwater video when he noticed a group of turtles fleeing the scene just moments before Rawlinson was attacked. Lilley believes one of the turtles swam too close to Rawlinson, and that is what prompted the attack. He says once the shark realized it had bit a board instead of a turtle, it let go and took off.
After measuring the bite in Rawlinson's board, Lilley estimates the tiger shark was around 14-feet in length.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada