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Oregon man described being bitten while swimming in Hawaii

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POSTED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 5:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - 5:04am

The bandage on Tom Kennedy's left leg covers a gash on his calf from a shark bite that caught him by surprise.

"Initially it didn't hurt so much. It was mostly just fear of a second attack," he said.

The 61-year-old visitor from Oregon was snorkeling with two others. They rode paddle boards to a spot more than 250 yards off the Kihei coastline.

Kennedy said he felt a tug and looked down to see his leg in the shark's mouth.

"It released me. So I started swimming as fast as I could. I would guess I was a still a hundred yards from my board," he said. "As I went further, I started to bleed. I could see a string of blood, which was my next concern."

Kennedy climbed on his paddle board. He and his companions got the attention of a crew from Wailea Canoe Club.

"People who were in a canoe were in the area, so they brought him in," eyewitness Ryan Suda said. "They said he was standup paddle boarding like a lot of people do. They'll standup paddle board out to an area and go snorkeling. I do that myself."

"We had very quick response. Police and EMT's were there right away," Kennedy said.

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