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Hawaii Tourist Saved By Taekwondo Skills, California Surfer Not As Lucky

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(ABC News)


A 12-foot-long tiger shark messed with the wrong person.

Mariko Haugen, a taekwando black belt, was enjoying a swim in Maui, Hawaii, when she was confronted by the creature.

"She saw it a few seconds before it hit - and she gave it her best Tae Kwon Do black belt punch in the nose," Don Haugen, Mariko's husband, wrote on Facebook.

Haugen's husband and another man saw the attack and helped carry her to safety.

She received more than 100 stitches to close wounds on her right hand and thigh.

Now back home in Folsom, Calif., Don Haugen told ABC News affiliate KXTV that he's trying to put his wife's misfortune, or fortune, depending on how one looks at it, into perspective.

"I've always reassured my family. We spend tons of time in the ocean. We love the ocean. I've always told my kids there's zero reasons to fear sharks because what is scary is breast cancer," he said. "Getting bitten by a shark is one in 4 million to visitors to Hawaii, so we should not have to worry at all."

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(Image Credit: Eureka Times Standard/ ABC News)


A surfer in Eureka, Calif., wasn't as lucky.

On Tuesday, the unidentified 25-year-old man was bitten by a shark while catching the waves at the North Jetty.

A bite-sized chunk of the man's surf board was also missing.

He suffered several wounds that required surgery, including one as long as 14 inches, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office said.

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