Bethany Hamilton update

Was watching the news this morning, and was blown away to see young Bethany - RIDING A SKATEBOARD - all smiles (this is AFTER the shark bite incident [which happened little more than three weeks ago!]). She was speaking with Deborah Norville for “Inside Edition” and this girl just blew me away with her positive attitude. All I can say is God bless her, and her family (and their support system) for keeping this girl’s head in the right place. Sure, this is an unbelieveably traumatic thing - and it is early on in the scheme of things - but seeing her just illustrates to me that if anyone can overcome something like this, it is she. Incidentally, if you are in the New Nork area, tonight on “20/20” (our ch.7 or ABC, over here) @ 10 p.m. there will be an indepth conversation with her and her family. Girl is an inspiration! Much aloha, T.

don’t you think it’s a slow day for news when BH is on the front page for what, the fourth or fifth time? Would the world give a damn if some guy had his arm taken off? NO. And worse has happened, and faded from the public eye. I have a 14 y.o. daughter who surfs occasionally with me, and though I’d certainly be devastated if something happened to her, this constant coverage is not what I’d welcome.

A slow news day you say? President Bush’s visit to England. Michael Jackson arrested. War. Riots in Miami. Bombings in Turkey. Doesn’t seem very slow to me.

Hey, when the news media has something good to talk about I welcome it anytime!

Howzit Tom, This mornings Garden Island paper had a big picture of Bethany on the front page and she looks great. Here on Kauai we’re having fund raisers on her behalf and the response has been just insane. They raised thousands of dollars this last weekend at a fund raiser and even had Titus Kinimaka and Dick Brewer collecting money in the crowd. The Irons brothers contributed boards for the raffle and more pro surfers are giving more boards for another gig this weekend. The fact that she is handleing this so well just shows what a wonderful and resouceful girl she is. They also did a 20/20 interview with her the other day at Pine Trees which I think it also airs tonight, at 9:00 P.M… Some people might think the media blitz is a little too much but she’s a survivor and after what she’s been through she’s definitly due more than just 15 minutes of fame. Next stop Letterman and Leno to name a few. Our hearts go out to her and her family. One of her brothers was just ripping the s*#t out of Kalihiwai yesterday at 8 to 10 feet and for those in the know it’s one of the meanest waves in Hawaii. Aloha, kokua

its all a conspirosy… its just a media/politacal scam to divert attention from the war and elections…

If you’re put off by the coverage, nobody’s forcing you to click the link, are they?

you actually are coming off as a sourpuss. look at what a good attitude the girl has. most people(probably including you and me) would be sitting around feeling sorry for themselves not thinking of a positive future including all the things she loves. you do have a point tho’ the media loves cute blond girls. if she was a dark skinned boy she probably would not get the well deserved attention she is getting now. when a little girl is kidnapped in the innercity it hardly makes the news, when it is a white girl in the suburbs it is front page news. we all love our kids no matter what our skin color, income level or immigration status. your wave.

People today are valued by their birth combined with the things that happen to them, but never simply by their responses to those things.

Howzit Norcal, The news media in Hawaii has also been running articles in the paper and on TV with Hoku the kid who lost his leg to a shark last year on the south side of Kauai. He tells Bethany to get on with her life and get back in the ocean. When you consider that his accident is over a year old and he’s a brown skinned guy,it kinda shoots down the brown skinned boy theory. The best part of last nights program was when she was asked if she thought she might surf again and she answered, Think, I know I will surf again. Aloha, Kokua

Hey Kokua- Here on the mainland and in the national media it seems that race focus is a reality. People in Oakland have there kids kidnapped or hit by drunk drivers and it is one or two inches of print. When it happens to a kid in the suburbs it is a really big front page deal. The kid that was bit at Poipu got a tiny article and not much follow-up. I know it was a big deal by you but not here. Parent of missing kids in Oakland often express their sadness that their kids don’t get the press that “other” kids do. The S.F. Chronicle and USA Today aren’t heart and soul papers like the Garden Isle. I wish it were different but it isn’t. My best to you. P.S. where’s Ambrose?

I watched the 20/20 thing last night and it was cool.I bet every little pre-teen girl in America wishes they could move to the beach and be a cool roxy surf girl after seeing the lifestyle presented.One question though; the big tiger that was caught:did anybody open it up? It seems likely that may have been the culprit, but the belly would surely prove yea or ney.That sucker sure was big.

KAUAI News – Tiger shark caught at Hanalei – By CHRIS COOK - TGI Editor A massive, 13-foot, 6-inch tiger shark that may, or may not, be the animal that attacked North Shore surfer Bethany Hamilton was hauled in Thursday at Hanalei. Bill Hamilton and Ralph Young, veteran Hanalei surfers and fishermen, began their hunt for the shark on Tuesday night following about a 10-day period of ongoing reports of a large tiger shark cruising surf spots in and around Hanalei Bay. A distinguishing feature of the shark remarked about in the reports was a ragged dorsal fin. They used a four-foot gray nurse shark as bait, tying it up on an oversized hook on a line attached to three buoys anchored about 50 feet south of the “Bowl” surf break at Hanalei Bay, about a quarter-mile outside the Hanalei Pier. Hamilton said their motive was to protect surfers, fishermen and beachgoers on the North Shore. “We don’t hunt sharks except for large predators that enter surf breaks and harass people. We have the resources to do it, and the experience,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been here the last 35 years, and have only fished for three sharks: one in 1978, the second about eight years ago. That shark took the entire mooring system.” “After she (Hamilton) got bit, fisherman went out and told Ralph ?we’ve got a big, dangerous animal (in North Shore waters),'” he said. “We heard continuous stories – surfers chased out of Waikoko, Hideaways, the Bowl. There’s too many young kids, too many people in the water, I don’t think we can accept a second tragedy.” Having a large tiger shark in Hanalei Bay may or may not have been related to the attack on 13-year-old Bethany Hamilton of Princeville, which occurred miles to the west off Makua Beach at Ha?ena. However, Hamilton, who is not related to Bethany Hamilton, did confer with the girl’s father prior to catching the shark. “I saw Tom Hamilton (Bethany’s father) and he said he’s against any kind of fishing that’s going to kill the population of sharks at Hanalei, but he said ?it would make my year’ if we could take the shark that attacked Bethany.” On Tuesday night Young and Hamilton set the bait using a rig they put together with the help of Hanalei firefighter Bruce Chapin. On Wednesday morning they found nothing had taken the bait, the same on Wednesday night. On Thursday morning they saw they had something on the hook, “a big tiger that had swam and drowned,” Hamilton said of their catch, which had a ragged dorsal fin. Hamilton said their system of buoys they rigged was buoyant enough to hold the dead 1500-1800 pound tiger shark. “We had three separate buoys, a large one, a secondary one and a small one, with an inner tube tied in between.” They towed the shark well outside of Hanalei Bay to dissect it and to find out what was in its stomach, which was found empty except for the shark they’d used for bait. “(The bait shark) was severed cleanly in two sections,” he said. They also cut out a large section of its belly to provide shark skin they are giving to Boy Akana of Kalihiwai to use as the skin on a Hawaiian drum, he said. They then brought the shark to the beach at the mouth of the Hanalei River and measured it. Retired Kaua?i Fire Department chief David Sproat brought his back hoe to the beach to lift the shark so they could cut it’s jaw out. The wide-bellied tiger shark had a 14-inch high dorsal fin that was 18 inches wide at the base; the bottom “smile” of the shark’s mouth was 18 inches across from the tips of its mouth; and its teeth were about one and one-half inches apart. It’s girth - the height of one side of its body - was about 23 inches. Hamilton said he and Young “really want to fit the shark’s jaws to the board” to see if it might be the one that struck Bethany Hamilton taking her left arm and leaving a gaping bit mark in the left rail of the surfboard. “My theory is that the resident sharks who live here take food and predate normally as they always do, they don’t come into where surfers are and pursue game,” Hamilton said. “When we have a predator that is pursuing a food source on a daily basis, early in the morning or in the evening, it may or may not be part of the whole scheme. I think they’re visiting sharks, or they’re sick sharks, or there’s something in their mechanism that makes them do this stuff that’s outside the norm.” Emphasizing that he and Young weren’t shark hunters on a regular basis, Hamilton said, “the real shark fishing is based on chumming for sharks; we set out only one line.” He said studies of tiger sharks shows that the larger sharks feed primarily on other sharks. He said a large tiger can roam about 150 miles each day, and that a tiger shark’s diet isn’t selective: “Turtles here at Hanalei, birds further north, cans, roofing paper, they’ll take whatever they can get.” “I have a bit of remorse about taking such a beautiful creature,” Young said, “but too few people are taking the sharks and keeping everything in balance, with more surfers and more sharks they will be more attacks. I would have felt bad if someone had been bit and nobody had done anything; I feel bad about taking the shark, but not as bad as I’d feel if someone had been bit.”

I think there was only one shark in the ocean off kaui. So it has to be the one that bit her. Nothing like a good old fashioned lynching, kill them all I say, and while we are at it lets just wipe out anything else that might be higher up the food chain than humans.

Howzit what the, 1 shark huh, I have a friend who fishes the area just outside the bay(Hidaways) and over a 4 to 5 year period he caught between 400 and 500 sharks, and that’s not what he’s fishing for. Like he says " if they only knew how many there are ". Hanalei Bay is also a hammerhead shark breeding ground. The bottom line is this was a rogue shark that after attacking Bethany he moved to the bay and was harassing people in the line up. Since Ralph and Bill got him we haven’t had any more sitings. How would you feel if a serial killer moved into your neighborhood? Aloha, Kokua

kokua, Your wise perspective on this subject has been excellent… many thanks!