(KNX 1070) — “He was snorkeling when all of a sudden he sees this big, dark shadow and he thinks, ‘Oh my God, this is really gonna happen to me’ ” recalls Lori Cruze in talking about a Kansas man who was attacked by a 12-foot tiger shark in Hawaii.

Cruze, a registered nurse at Simi Valley Hospital, tells KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO she and her husband were in Hawaii to celebrate her birthday when she jumped into action to help the man, who had been attacked at Hapuna Beach.

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As Diane Thompson reports, the man was snorkeling with his two kids when the shark struck.

“And he said he just kinda turned and saw this dark image and he thought, ‘Oh my God, this is really gonna happen to me.’ I think what helped him too is he kinda punched the shark and that kinda, I think, spooked the shark off,” she said. “It was a 12-foot tiger shark and it got a good chunk of his arm.”

Cruze says the man was attacked in two different areas on his arm and the skin was “hanging … his arm was just dangling.”

Cruze described the situation as “surreal.”

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“It was really weird. It was a surreal situation. Everybody was kind of standing there like they didn’t know what to do. Nobody was moving,” she recalls.

Cruze says she yelled for someone to get towels and wrapped them tightly around the man’s arm to stop the bleeding and also put ice on it, while someone else elevated the man’s feet and a
lifeguard applied a tourniquet.

They, then, all waited for help.

“I remember him looking up at his two boys and saying, ‘I’m so glad it was me and not you.’ And I thought that was really sweet.” she said. “It was an honor to help somebody in such desperate need and I’m a nurse so to me, it was another day on the job.”

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KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO is proud to name Cruze the KNX Hero of the Week, a program presented by California Resources Corporation.