A 58-year-old Hawaiian surfer’s foot was bitten off during a shark attack off the coast of Honolulu … and was likely saved by quick-thinking witnesses who used their surfboard leashes as a tourniquet, limiting blood loss.
Mike Morita, who’s been shredding waves for 40 years, was attacked by a roughly 8-foot tiger shark in Kewalo Basin on Sunday around 7 AM, officials told KHON.
Fellow surfers acted quickly to tie off the injured limb, and Morita was rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Officials say the quick thinking of the other surfers was probably the difference between life and death for Mike.
Despite going through the incredibly traumatic incident, the surfer’s family says Mike’s in good spirits, releasing a statement thanking everyone who helped.
“He has a long and difficult road ahead of him. My dad is a fighter and even though he’s facing a setback now, you all know that won’t stop him,” Morita’s son told a local news outlet.
The road to recovery has already begun for MM, who underwent surgery when he arrived at the hospital on Sunday. He is scheduled to have a second surgery later this week.
Although shark sightings are common, attacks aren’t. In fact, before Sunday’s incident, there hadn’t been a reported attack in that area in over 2 decades, according to the Hawaii Dept. of Land and Natural Resources.
Despite the rarity of the attack, lifeguards were posted up on the beach on Monday, telling swimmers they couldn’t go in the water.
Morita’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help his mounting medical bills … with the fund already reaching $42k.