SAN DIEGO — It has been nine months since 13-year-old Keane Webre Hayes was attacked by an 11-foot-shark off Beacons Beach in Leucadia, but on Wednesday, the teen was back in the ocean.
Last fall, on September 29, the eighth grader was mauled by a shark while diving for lobsters. A retired lifeguard and four beachgoers helped pull Keane to shore.
The shark bit Keane’s face, back and shoulder. He suffered from broken bones, torn muscles, nerve damage and needed 1,000 stitches. He spent nearly a week in the hospital following the attack.
Since then, Keane has undergone physical therapy and building up his strength swimming in a pool and rehabbing in a gym.
The day after the attack, Keane told doctors he would return to the ocean.
Two weeks after the attack, the California Wildlife Officers Foundation presented him with a lifetime fishing license with additional fishing privileges.
Keane said he was not afraid of sharks before taking the dive back into the deep ocean. He was able to catch a 15-pound Yellowtail with a spear.
According to the Shark Lab at Cal State Long Beach, shark bites in California are rare per capita and on the decline.