Shark Attack Surfing Star Stable

Bethany Hamilton competes in a surfing competition Aug. 2, 2003, in Hawaii. Hamilton, 13, lost her left arm Friday, Oct. 31, 2003, when she was attacked by a shark while surfing with friends on Kauai's North Shore, authorities said. The size of the bite was estimated to be 16 inches long and 8 inches wide, which suggests Hamilton was attacked by a shark that was 12 to 15 feet long, said Battalion Chief Bob Kaden. AP

The 13-year-old surfing star who lost her left arm in a shark attack last week off Kauai remained in stable condition Monday night after a second surgery.

The surgery to close and clean Bethany Hamilton's wound was successful and the girl may be able to return to her Princeville home this week, according to Lani Yukimura, the spokeswoman for Wilcox Memorial Hospital.

Hamilton was said to be resting comfortably after the hour-long surgery. But her family was dealing with a deluge of media requests. The girl's brothers appeared on national television on Monday, while The New York Times included a lengthy front-page report on her in their Tuesday editions.

The family said Hamilton would not be granting any interviews until further notice.

Meanwhile, friends and family of Hamilton set up a Web site, www.bethanyhamilton.com, to log her recovery.

The Web site features dozens of photos of blond Bethany surfing, including one that was taken a week before the shark attack. It also has donation information and Bethany's e-mail address.

"She wants to surf again, she wants to try snowboarding," her brother, Noah Hamilton, said in his televised interview. "She's tough."

Hamilton was attacked Friday in an area known as Tunnels, a quarter-mile off Makua Beach near Haena. Her arm, bit off near the shoulder, was not recovered and officials said the shark has not been spotted again.

On Saturday, Hamilton talked of the attack.

"My arm was hanging in the water, and it just came and bit me," Hamilton told CBS News Honolulu affiliate KGMB.

She said the shark pulled her back and forth, "but I just held on my board, and then it let go."

State wildlife experts estimated the tiger shark to be around 14 feet long, based on the massive chunk taken out of Bethany's surf board.

Bethany was a competitive surfer who already had secured sponsorships and was expected to go pro, according to the Hanalei Surf Online Web site.

In August, she won the explorer women's division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association's Open and Explorer event on Kauai. In May, she won the women's division at the Local Motion-Ezekiel Surf Into Summer contest at Ala Moana on Oahu, beating out older surfers.

The shark attack was Hawaii's fourth this year. The last shark attack was Oct. 5, when a woman was bitten while swimming near Kihei on Maui, officials said.
  • Jaime Holguin

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