DANA POINT (CBSLA.com) — Two Orange County men are being hailed as heroes after they rescued a woman whose right arm had just been bitten off by a shark.
The woman was attacked near White Rock Beach off the coast of Maui.
The victim — a 20-year-old German tourist — was aware her condition was grave, says Rick Moore.
“I’m dying, I’m going to die,” Moore recalls the woman continually saying, “And I kept saying to her, ‘No, you’re not.’ We’re going to get you to shore. We’re going to save you.’”
Moore, a Laguna Niguel resident, is a teacher and pastor. He says he thought nothing of jumping into the water and risking his own life.
“We heard this scream, this blood-curdling scream,” Moore says.
Moore and his friend heard the victim shrieking about 75 yards off the coast. He doesn’t think he did anything heroic.
“I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. I swam out there and prayed over her. Told her, let’s see what we can do. What’s God going to do,” Moore says.
Moore put his arm around the woman and began swimming to shore.
On land, his friend Nick Grisaffi — also a teacher from Laguna — was springing into action. He recalls the scene as being chaotic.
“No one really knew that to do. Rick had to do CPR because of the confusion going on,” says Grisaffi.
Moore says “a police officer came and put a tourniquet on the stump. She was fading away. We brought her up to the street. She was going to die, and she was fading away. We’re slapping her face trying to get her conscious … and then I started doing artificial respiration with her.”
The victim was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition — but alive.
Both of her rescuers said they are forever changed.
“I’m a water guy. I’m a water guy my whole life,” says Grisaffi, “and this has changed my life completely.”
Authorities have a concern the victim suffered some brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.