Shark Attacks Jimmy "Ulu Boy" Napeahi on Big Island

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This past Sunday, Hawaiian native Jimmy “Ulu Boy” Napeahi was surfing Shacks on the Big Island when he fell victim to a shark attack. The 16-year-old suffered multiple lacerations to his legs and was reported to receive over 180 stitches, but is expected to make a full recovery. The predator was estimated to be an 8 to 10 feet long tiger shark which pulled Napeahi underwater by his legs while he was sitting on his board. The surfer immediately began punching the shark in the gills until it let go, swimming away with only his leash.

ulu boy hospitalized

“Ulu Boy” recovering after surgery at the Hilo Medical Center in Hawaii. Photo: Instagram/ @renomakani

After making his way to shore, Napeahi tied the remainder of his leash around his leg wounds to stop the bleeding. He was immediately air lifted to Hilo Medical Center where doctors began performing surgery on his wounds. With stitches along his legs, calves, feet, and hips, doctors are predicting about two months for the injuries to heal along with an additional five months in therapy before he is able to surf again.

Before his attack, the surfer was training for a North Shore surfing competition after coming in fourth at the annual Big Island Pro-Am.

swimming shark

A tiger shark swimming in its natural habitat. Photo: Wikicommons/ Albert Kok


Shark Research Committee

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Maddy Washburn is a student at California State University Long Beach. She is majoring in Journalism & Public Relations and has always had a love of the ocean. She's lived in Southern California all her life and loves dancing, paddle boarding, and going to the beach.


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