KAILUA-KONA >> A Big Island woman escaped a tiger shark attack with only some injuries to her fingers and a hand.
McKenzie Clark is crediting that to a companion who punched the 12-to-15 foot shark until it relented and swam away.
Clark left the hospital last week after getting 20 stitches on her left hand, middle finger and ring finger.
Clark tells West Hawaii Today she was paddling her surfboard in murky waters off Halaula Lighthouse in Keawaeli Bay when the shark emerged.
Her companion Brian Wargo saw Clark and her board on top of the shark’s back. He says he hit the shark between the gills and dorsal fin until it turned away from Clark
The Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the beach after Friday’s incident.