By now, even people in landlocked states know the amazing story of Bethany Hamilton, the surfer who lost an arm to a shark a few years ago. But ABC News just posted a really interested story with some great quotes from Hamilton, 19.
If you don’t know the story, first of all — get out from under that rock. But just to recap: Hamilton, then 13, was a very promising surfer who was surfing with a friend and her friend’s father on Halloween day in 2003. While lying on her board, a tiger shark came up and grabbed her left arm.
“I was laying on my board sideways. And then…the shark came up and grabbed a hold of my arm,” she told “20/20.” “And then, I was holding onto my board, with my thumb, because I probably didn’t want to get pulled under. It was like pulling me back and forth, not like pulling me underwater. Just like, you know how you eat a piece of steak?… It was kind of like that. And then it let go. And then went under. Then I looked down at the water, and it was like really red, from all the blood in the water.”
Soon after the attack, a local fisherman caught a 13-foot tiger shark not far from where Hamilton was attacked. The fisherman, Ralph Young, said the shark’s jaws matched the imprint made on Hamilton’s board.
Since two arms are considered crucial for paddling and pushing yourself up on a board, it seemed clear that Hamilton’s surfing days were over. Not only did she return to the water, but she became one of the top female surfers. And she surfs big waves, as you can see in this slide show.
The story posted on the ABC site doesn’t reveal a lot of new info, but it’s a good read. I found out about it through the Surf News Twitter, which is a pretty good source for finding interesting surf articles.
NOTE: We’ve had a lot of readers come to this post since it was written, and hundreds have written comments. But Bethany Hamilton does not maintain this blog.
Photos: Noah Hamilton
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