The man who swam to the aid of a fellow surfer after he was repeatedly bitten last month by an estimated 10-foot tiger shark at Pohoiki will be recognized next week by the Hawaii County Council.
Dallas O’Shaughnessy, 34, is set to be presented with a Certificate of Recognition on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the 9 a.m. start of the regular public meeting of the Hawaii County Council.
Jimmy Ulualoha “Ulu Boy” Napeahi was surfing with friends at the “Dead Trees” area near Pohoiki when he was attacked by the shark. Afterward, in an interview at the hospital, Napeahi credited his fellow surfer and friend with keeping a cool head in a tense situation.
Napeahi said the former lifeguard swam out and pulled him back to shore. Once on the rocks, O’Shaughnessy helped to stop the bleeding from the multiple lacerations in Napeahi’s hips, legs, buttocks and feet by tightly wrapping a surfboard leash around his legs to apply pressure.
When the pair were reunited after Napeahi underwent emergency surgery at Hilo Medical Center, the 16-year-old was quick to thank his friend for saving his life.
“Thank you. You were the one that got me. … If it wasn’t for you, brah, I don’t know,” Napeahi said as he clasped O’Shaughnessy’s hand. “Thank God you were there.”
A legislative assistant in Councilman Zendo Kern’s office said Tuesday that O’Shaughnessy was hesitant at first to accept the honor, but eventually agreed.