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Man attacked by Tiger Shark in North Kohala, airlifted in serious condition

By Hawaii 24/7 Staff

Tiger Shark attack victim in Kohala. Photo via Instagram @_braxton_john_

Tiger Shark attack victim in Kohala. Photo via Instagram @_braxton_john_

At 3:52 p.m. Sunday (Sept 20) fire/rescue crews responded to a Upolu Point in Kohala for a man injured in a shark attack.

The 27-year-old man was spearfishing about 60 yards offshore when he was attacked by a Tiger Shark which bit him on the thigh and calf. The man said the shark was about 13 feet in length. The man said he was able to swim to shore and alterted his friend who called 911.

The friend then took him via pick-up truck to Akoni Pule Highway where they met medics who treated him and took him to Kamehameha Park in Kapaau where he was airlifted to North Hawaii Community Hospital in serious condition.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources reports that the attack happened in an isolated and remote area. The water conditions were murky due to heavy rain and runoff in the area. The DLNR advises people not to swim in the ocean during brown water conditions.

There is a video from Instagram where apparently the victim was able to post a message as he is being transferred to an ambulance. The video is below but we must warn people that the video is quite graphic in nature.



UPDATED (10:47 p.m. on 9/21/2015)

Shark attack victim Braxton Rocha is recovering after surgery at North Hawaii Community Hospital and was able to post to his Instagram page.

Shark Bait Whoo HaHa

A photo posted by @_shark_boy_ on

UPDATED (11:40 PM on 9/21/2015)

There is a GoFundMe webpage seeking help to cover Braxton’s medical bills. He is out of surgery, didn’t lose his leg and is now in intensive care. GoFundMe page:

Braxton Rocha recovering in Waimea. Photo via Facebook.

Braxton Rocha recovering in Waimea. Photo via Facebook.

5 Responses to “Man attacked by Tiger Shark in North Kohala, airlifted in serious condition”

  1. shirona says:

    are you sure it was upolu? I believe it was kapanaia. it wouldn’t make sense for them to take him kampark to airlift him when he is at upolu! they would just lift him from there it’s an airport where most of the emergency medivac takes place!

    • Baron says:

      Yes it was off Upolu Point. The medic unit met them on Akoni Pule Highway so it’s more than likely they were already on their way towards the Hawi area. By going to Kapaau they are also closer to Kohala Hospital and the Fire Station should he had taken a turn for the worse. Landing at night at Kamehameha Park is probably safer anyway as there are wind turbines near Upolu Airport.

  2. lee says:

    Yipes, that is crazy. His leg has a huge hole in it.

  3. Jamie says:

    Wow!! Prayers for healing and speedy recovery. Don’t worry god will provide a miracle.

  4. Linda says:

    Braxton~ I am so happy for you that you are able to save your leg. I’ve been praying for you! You have been on my mind since I saw your video. You are a brave strong man! Much respect and love from me to you.


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