At around 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Marjorie Mariano was surfing on the North Shore of Oahu when a shark attacked her. Although it’s not exactly clear what kind of shark it was, it’s likely that it was a 10-12 foot tiger shark.
“Marjorie is a good friend of ours, and she is well respected here by the North Shore community,” wrote Ricardo Taveira, owner of Hawaii Eco Tours, in an email. “She is one of the pioneer surfer girls on the North Shore.” Taveira set up a GoFundMe to help her.
The attack happened after Mariano was done surfing. As she was paddling back to the beach, the shark attacked. “When she realized she was bitten, she started to pull her leg out of the shark’s mouth and kick it with her other leg as she was being shaken,” Taveira wrote. “As she was fighting the shark, she could see most of its head, eyes, and body out of the water.” Mariano’s wounds are horrific.
Luckily, there were two other surfers in the area. When she was free from the shark, she began yelling for help. Since she was bleeding profusely, she thought there was a chance the shark might come back, and she was paddling desperately for shore. When one of the two surfers got close enough to see the injury, he immediately used his leash as a tourniquet. Then, all three of them made their way to the beach, applied pressure to the wound, and waited for emergency crews to arrive.
“Marjorie was taken to Queens Hospital in Honolulu, where she underwent surgery,” Taveira continued. “She received more than 100 stitches on her thigh and behind her knee. She had a major artery lacerated and could have bled to death. At this moment, she remains at Queens Hospital and is very optimistic about her recovery, even though it may take weeks for her to walk again. One thing she is already sure about is that this experience will not stop her from surfing again.”
Now, Marjorie has months of rehab ahead of her. Health insurance doesn’t cover all medical insurance, nor does it cover time off from work, but we can help.