TIVERTON — Patrick Brown said it was a “miracle” that his good friend Colin Cook survived a shark attack while surfing in Oahu on Friday.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Brown said. “There were a lot of strange coincidences. It’s not even just that he survived.”
Cook was surfing on the North Shore in Oahu when he was attacked by a shark and pulled under water. He was able to punch the shark, and sustained the loss of two fingers.
Surgeons had to amputate Cook’s left leg above the knee due to the injuries.
His prognosis appears good, however. He’s already been up and walking around with just one leg, and told friends he plans to get back out on the water as soon as possible.
Brown of Tiverton plans to travel to Oahu in early November and stay with Cook for a month.
Cook, 25, is a surfer and surf board designer and owns his own shop in Oahu. He moved from Tiverton to Oahu three years ago. Brown, 23, ultimately plans to make the move himself one day soon.
“He called me eight hours after (the attack) and said: ‘Dude, I lost my freakin’ leg.’”
Brown said he was shocked at the news.
He said Cook joked around in the past about losing his leg in a shark attack while surfing, making the actual attack a strange coincidence.
But, there was a lucky coincidence or two, as well.
Cook was able to fight off the shark, and survived. He was also lucky that another surfer saw what happened. The surfer was using a stand up power board, which helped him fend off the shark more than a more common short board would have. Brown said the shark followed Cook and the other surfer all the way to shore.
Brown said his friend was doing well and is on pain medication. He’ll need time to recover, and likely a prosthetic leg.
Brown said Cook is an “inspiration to so many people.”
Cook is a graduate of Tiverton High School and the International Yacht Restoration School of Technology & Trades of Newport and Bristol Rhode Island.
Friends created a Go Fund Me page on Saturday with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Cook pay for expenses and a prosthetic leg. Donations amounted to $33,606 by late Tuesday morning.