Bethany Hamilton

Biography Project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade Language Arts class
made by AG

On October 31, 2003, at age 13. Bethany Hamilton went for a morning surf along tunnels beach, Kauai, with her best friend Alana Blanchard, Alana's father and brother. Around 7:30 am the devastating event happened. Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a 14 foot tiger shark. In result, the shark severed her left arm just below the shoulder. The Blanchard's paddled Bethany back to shore within 20 mins and Alana's father fastened a tourniquet around the stump of her arm, out of the surfboard leash. before she was rushed to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. By the time she arrived at the hospital, she had lost over 60% of her blood and was in hypovolemic shock. Her father, who was scheduled to have knee surgery that morning, was already there, but she took his place in the operating room. She spent a week in recovery before being released. She returned to surfing with only one arm on Nov 26, 2003.

“It’s not about how many times you get knocked down that counts, it’s about how many times you get back up.” words of wisdom from Bethany Hamilton , a 23-year-old American surfer.


1. Accepted  Christianity at 5 years old

2. Born : Lihue, Hawaii

3. Learned to surf: 4 years old

4. Engaged in April 2013 to Adam Dirks in  

5. Married on August 17, 2013 in Kauai, Hawaii

Her parents Thomas and Cherilyn Hamilton,and brothers Noah (8 years older),Timothy (4 years older) are major people who influenced for life. Also, best friend Alana Blanchard influenced both each others lives.

Bethany's childhood consisted of surfing home schooling and  competitions. First real Surf Competition: Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships on Oahu, Hawaii. First major surf sponsorship's: Rip Curl and Tim Carroll Surfboards.

Works Cited:

  • Hamilton, Bethany, Sheryl Berk, and Rick Bundschuh. Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. New York: Pocket ; MTV, 2004. Print.

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