Georgia surf instructor attacked by shark during lesson returns to beach

Beachgoers across eastern shores have been reporting shark sightings

A Georgia man attacked by a shark in the waters off Tybee Island earlier this week returned to the beach Friday. 

In a video update on the Hot Sushi's Happy Surf Camp Aloha Facebook page, surf instructor Atsushi Yamada – also known as "Hot Sushi" – thanked well-wishers and helpers for their love and support after taking two days off following the "incident." 


"We had to skip yesterday due to my… another treatment – my boo boo. But, I am so lucky now to be like this. Still I can share much aloha," he said, cheering on instructees in the water wearing protective boots and pants.

In other posts with photos, Yamada wrote similar messages of gratitude. 

"I apologize for this crazy incident of mine to making things chaotic," he said Tuesday alongside pictures of Tybee's lifeguards and emergency response crew, the view from inside an ambulance and a photo of himself outside the hospital with a bandaged leg. "Most of all I feel super duper thankful it was ME [and] no one else who were in the seawater at that time especially all these precious young people including my fabulous instructors or anyone else… It [might] have been much much worse so feel very lucky enough just got out from the ER after the intense painful deep cleaning with plenty of stitches." 

"At the same time I was trying my best not to let my wonderful amazing brave campers to panic or seeing me getting injury front of them so Thank You Everyone who were there to support my crew since Da Boss Sushi went down to the ground finally," he added, noting that he would be seeing a plastic surgeon

Yamada -- who was born in Japan – said he knew a shark attack could happen "to anyone at [any time] anywhere pretty much" and was a part of surfing and said he had seen "the worst" during his career.


"Much Aloha to you all. Special Big Mahalo Nui Loa Arigato Gozaimasu to Tybee Island Fire Department/Ocean Rescue Team, The City of Tybee, Da Camp Crew, Surf Camp parents and many others who were there for us and all of Hot Sushi’s Ohana," he wrote. 

On Friday, Yamada noted on the platform that he was still experiencing "severe pain" from the Tuesday attack. 

Speaking with WJCL, on Thursday, Yamada said he felt like he was "more alive" after the incident – which left him with three gashes on his left leg and felt like he had been "hit by a baseball bat." 

Yamada had been sitting on his board with a student near 18th Street when the shark approached at around noon, according to WSBTV.

The station noted that emergency officials immediately cleared the water for a couple of hours. 


Yamada later told WTOC the bite could have been from an Atlantic blacktip shark or bull shark and that he has about a three-week recovery process.

Beachgoers across eastern shores have been reporting shark sightings over the last couple of weeks, and the U.S. recorded the largest number of unprovoked shark bites in the world last year.