“Took the paddle and put it on its nose. I’ve heard you really try to engage with them and kind of deflect them but the paddleboard got like a boost forward because of just the strength of this animal. I just remember feeling the muscle and the strength. Lunged out of the water and took about two feet of the paddle in its mouth, chopped down, snapped it in half, and this is a carbon fiber brand new paddleboard paddle.” -Patrick Wardle
Gnarly open water wildlife encounter reported off the coast of South Maui where paddleboarders Patrick Wardle and Megan Valentine were confronted by an aggressive tiger shark. Hawaii News Now reports the pair were both on an inflatable paddleboard about one mile off of Kihei when the 15-foot shark approached.
The shark attacked three times, breaking the paddle they were using to fend it off and biting through the inflatable board. They were able to stay on the punctured board and used there arms to paddle the deflating board back to shore which took about 45 minutes.
Patrick and Megan don’t want to scare people but want to increase awareness of shark dangers in Hawaii:
“Definitely something to be aware of. Definitely always guests in the ocean, but it’s such a just extraordinary place, and even that experience with a shark, there was something so beautiful about it. Like it’s this magnificent creature and like totally terrifying, but I respect it.” –Megan Valentine