Bethany Hamilton

Jackson B.

Early Life

On February 8, 1990 Bethany Hamilton was born, in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii, her parents were Tom and Cheri. Bethany grew up in a primarily surfing enviroment, along with older brothers Noah and Tim, Hamilton learned to surf the waves at a much younger age than most. She began competitive surfing at age 8, and by age 9 she had earned her first sponsorship.

A member of the Hanalei Surf Co. team, Hamilton proved to be able to hang with the better surfers in competition. In May 2003, she won both her age group and the open division of Hawaii's Local Motion/Ezekiel Surf Into Summer event. A little later, she took second in the open women's division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) National Championships at San Clemente, California.

Shark Attack

On October 31, 2003, Hamilton went out to surf at Tunnels Beach in Ha'ena. While laying down on her board, Hamilton suddenly felt an intense pull on her left arm and was pulled back and forth for a few seconds before the shark was gone. At first feeling no pain, she noticed the water around her had turned red, and her shocked friends realized that her left arm had been bit off right at the shoulder.

Blanchard's father made a device to stop the bleeding from his surfboard leash and led everyone to shore. Hamilton was rushed to Wilcox Memorial Hospital, taking her fathers place from the operating room where he was just about to under go knee surgery. Although approximately 60 percent of her blood had been lost following the attack. She had several surgeries, and was a few days.

As the story gained national attention, it was thought to be that Hamilton had been attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Even though the attack had changed her life dramatically. She remained focus and returned to surfing.

Recovery and Success

Hamilton continued surfing just one month after the attack, her determination helped to keep the story alive. Her 2004 autobiography, Soul Surfer, became a bestseller, and in 2004 she won ESPY award for Best Comeback Athlete. Hamilton now lives happily with her husband Adam Dirks and has one kid,Tobias,
Bethany Hamilton: Shark Attack--The Real Story


Ott, Tim. Bethany Hamilton Biography. March 8, 2016

"Bethany Hamilton – Amputee Surfer | The Injury Cooperative". March 8, 2016