The Folsom, Calif. woman who was attacked over the weekend by a 12-foot tiger shark on Maui and escaped by punching it in the head is retelling the story, in her own words.
Mariko Haugen, 51, told News10 that she and her husband were swimming in the Makena Landing Beach Park area, near Kihei, on Saturday. They were swimming with turtles and were about 25 feet away from shore when they encountered the shark.
Haugen is thankful for her martial arts training, which she credits for her quick thinking.
“My Tae Kwan Do prepared me to learn how to punch,” Haugen said. “I punched it twice. I punched it this way, and that one contacted. But this [punch] kind of hit the side and slid into the mouth.”
Haugen’s right hand and thigh are bandaged. She escaped the worst of it. She wasn’t bitten, but she does have about 60 to 70 stitches.
The beaches were closed all afternoon. And then the tsunami warning took effect that evening.
Check out the news clip.