“They had heard a scream from the ocean and they took a four-man canoe out to find a male individual who had been bumped off his paddleboard about 100 to 150 yards offshore,” Fire Capt. Michael Grace told Honolulu Fox affiliate KHON-TV.
The local paddleboarder was out with his father when the morning attack occurred.
Team members and bystanders on shore applied tourniquets to severe injuries on his right hand and leg as they awaited paramedics, according to Grace.
Officials had posted signs warning of sharks spotted in the water before the attack and shut down the beach on Saturday.
It’s the first shark attack on the Big Island since 2015, according to state statistics, though there have been attacks off other islands of Hawaii since then.
Between 2007 and 2016, 65 people were attacked by sharks in the state, according to data from the International Shark Attack File. Nineteen of those attacks occurred off the Big Island.
Florida leads the country in shark attacks. From 2007 to 2016, there were 244 unprovoked shark attacks in Florida, 39 in South Carolina and 33 off the California coast. There have been a total of 766 attacks around the globe in that time; 449 of those occurred in the U.S.