A shark really took the wind out of this boarder’s morning ride.
On Tuesday morning, Larry Oberto of Hawaii was stand-up paddleboarding off Kihei, on the west coast of Maui, when a 10-12-foot-long tiger shark bit his inflatable board, officials with the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources shared in a press release. The man was about 200 yards offshore.
When Oberto saw the shark, he told Maui Now he was "in awe" at the size, but did not want to be near it.
"Next thing I know, I get knocked off the board," he said in the interview.
The 57-year-old said the shark bit the back of his board, which immediately caused it to deflate. Fortunately, another paddler, identified as Al Gaston in the press release, was nearby and Oberto was able to get onto his board. However, the pair told the DLNR that the shark was very aggressive, and pursued them all the way back to shore.
Though no one was hurt during the incident.
“I’m glad I don’t have anything getting sewed up," Oberto said of the encounter. “You gotta respect the sea and the creatures in it.”
Officials began instituting “standard shark protocols, which means the area, one mile in each direction, will be posted with warning signs to let ocean-goers know of the possibility of a shark in the vicinity," per the press release.