(KIHEI, Hawaii) — A 61-year-old man from Oregon is recovering from a shark bite he got while snorkeling in Hawaii on Friday.
Tom Kennedy of Lake Oswego, Ore., was snorkeling near a shore in Kihei, Hawaii at about 9:35 a.m., when a 10 foot shark attacked him.
The shark bit Kennedy’s left calf. Experts said the shark appeared to be a tiger shark.
“I kept watching behind because I was concerned it would come back again,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy said at some point, the shark let go of his leg and he swam as fast as he could to get away.
“It released me and I started swimming as fast as I could…as I went further and started to bleed, I could see I was trailing blood, which was my next concern,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy managed to get away from the shark and back onto his paddleboard.
One of his fellow snorkelers, an emergency room nurse, began first aid and helped get him safely back to shore. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Doctors said Kennedy was lucky the bite didn’t hit any major arteries.
As he recovers, the bloody bandage on his leg is Kennedy’s reminder of just how lucky he is to be alive.
“It could have been this, or you could have been struck by lightning, the odds are about the same,” he said.
After Friday morning’s incident, officials closed the waters 2 miles in each direction, and will meet Saturday to determine when it’s safe for beach goers to go back in.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN