One year ago this month, Keane was bitten by an 11 foot Great White Shark while lobster diving at Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas. Just 13 years old at the time, he sustained life threatening injuries, but thanks to the miraculous efforts of first responders, Keane survived.
To celebrate the one-year mark, Keane and his mom have put together Paddle Out for Survival at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas this Saturday, September 7 (starting at 10 a.m.)
Instead of celebrating the loss of life, this unique paddle out will honor the survivors of near-death shark attacks. In addition to Keane, other shark attack survivors will be on hand including the group, Friends of Bethany Hamilton. After the paddle, the event will feature a raffle and silent auction to raise funds towards Keane’s medical bills.
Before the event, we caught up with the local legend.
YEW!: So a year ago this month you were attacked by a great white shark, which is something that I think everybody fears, but it really happened to you…
Keane: Yeah, I was lobster diving on opening day and there was a seal in the water and I look like a seal. So of course, it picked me.
YEW!: Tell us about that moment of impact, what was going through your head?
Keane: It felt like getting tackled and shaken a bit, but, I didn’t see it coming. Then, I swam 70 yards to a kayak with my arm basically hanging off.
YEW!: How did you keep your composure in that situation?
Keane: I was a pitcher and a quarterback for a couple of years. As a quarterback, you have everybody just going for you. And as a pitcher, you have to throw the pitch perfectly. So, I kind of tapped into that space. I needed to keep calm and without those experiences, I wouldn’t have.
YEW!: You just started high school, how do the other students react to you?
Keane: I definitely have groups come up to me and say, “like are you the shark attack kid?”
YEW!: How bout the girls, are they sliding into your DMs?
Keane: No comment.
Unable to attend the Paddle Out for Survival? You can donate to Keane’s GoFundMe.