WCNT is reporting that a Hawaiian surfer was unharmed after what is believed to be a tiger shark took a bite out of his surfboard. Jim Rawlinson was surfing in Hanalei Bay when he was knocked off his board by the shark. According to Rawlinson, he fell off the board and landed on the shark’s back. After sliding off the back of the shark, he undid his surfboard leash to swim away. Apparently, the shark had the same idea, as Rawlinson said the next thing he knew the shark was gone.
The fact that the tiger shark left Rawlinson unharmed only further dispels the myth that tiger sharks do not necessarily “eat everything in sight.” According to the WCNT report, a marine biologist speculated that the tiger shark might have mistaken the surfboard for a sea turtle.
The WCNT anchor’s “lucky to be alive” statement might be going a bit overboard. At the very least, it’s probably safe to say that Rawlinson was lucky that neither one of his feet nor any other body part was situated on the part of the surfboard that was bitten.