Teen helped father rescue men after Lanikai shark attack

Photo: Acacia Barnes

A 13-year-old boy helped his father rescue two swimmers Saturday, including a man who survived a shark attack at Lanikai Beach.

The 44-year-old victim was swimming back from Mokulua Islands when the shark bit his feet. He remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Charlie Liverton says even though he was scared, both he and his dad knew they had to help.

The teenager tells KHON2 he and his dad said hello to the swimmers when they were paddling out to Mokulua Islands.

A short time later, they decided to turn around and that’s when they saw the man again, moments after he was attacked.

“Once we saw the blood, it became very real. There was a big trail of blood following him,” Liverton recalled.

Liverton says he believes it was an 8- to 9-foot tiger shark, and he even saw it swim under his canoe.

He says he was scared, but adrenaline kicked in. His father took the shark attack victim onto his canoe, while he helped the victim’s friend, who was not injured.

“What was the journey like on the way back to the shore?” KHON2 asked.

“It was just go, go, go,” he said. “I was in adrenaline mode. I didn’t think of how tired I was or anything like that. My main focus was getting in and getting help.”

His mother, Lynn Liverton, is proud of her family and told KHON2, “my son called me up and said I think we saved someone’s life today.”

His classmate, Acacia Barnes, was on the beach testing out a new camera. She took photos of the rescue when she noticed people screaming for help.

“I figured it would help and maybe it would help the police,” Barnes said.

The shark attack victim only sat up for a brief moment, and Liverton says his dad took off his rash guard and tied it around the man’s legs.

At one point, both of the canoes tipped over.

“My dad had to pry off his hands, hold him up and flip the boat with the other hand and then pull the man underneath the boat so he wouldn’t flip it again,” Liverton recalled.

When they got to shore, a group of people helped the man before emergency crews arrived.

“We are not heroes until he is out of the hospital and he is doing okay,” said Liverton.

Liverton says he and his dad hope one day to meet the men they rescued.

Charlie Liverton
Charlie Liverton

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