Bethany Hamilton Biography
Bethany Hamilton is a beautiful and enthusiastic American professional surfer, who lost her left arm due to a shark attack while surfing in 2003. In 2004, she wrote an autobiography on her experience ‘Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board’ and its feature film ‘Soul Surfer; was released in April 2011.
Hamilton was born on February 8, 1990, in Lihue, Hawaii, United States. Her birth name is Bethany Meilani Hamilton Dirks. Since the age of 10, she was home-schooled and later went back to school for high school. Through her mutual friends, she met youth minister Adam Dirks. In April 2013 they got engaged and on August 18, 2013, they got married. The couple competed on The Amazing Race 25. Eventually, they came third. They welcomed their son on June 1, 2015. As of 2016, Hamilton’s net worth is estimated to be $1.80 million dollars.
SURVIVING FROM A SHARK ATTACK
On October 31, 2003, Bethany Hamilton went for a morning surf with her best friend Alana Blanchard, Holt, her brother Byron and Alana’s father. She was only 13 years old then. At around 4:30 a.m., she was lying on her surfboard, there were numerous turtles in the area. While she was lying with her left arm dangling in the water, she was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark. Her left arm was cut off. After the attack, she was hurried to Wilcox Memorial Hospital. When she arrived at the hospital, over 60 percent of her blood was lost. She was in hypovolemic shock. Her father was already at that hospital to have knee surgery that morning. She spent more than week to be recovered before being released. While different media interviewed her, she said that she felt normal when she was bitten and did not feel much pain from the bite but while she was rushed to hospital she felt senseless.
After the news of the shark attack, Ralph Young presented to investigators photos of a 14-foot tiger shark which they caught and killed about one mile from the attack location. The shark had surfboard piece in its mouth. When the surfboard piece in the shark mouth was compared to her surfboard, it was matched. Later the police confirmed in 2004 that it was the same shark that attacked her. She decided to return to surfing after three weeks of the incident. She got a custom-made board which was longer and thicker than the regular boards. The board also got a handle for her right arm which made easier for her to paddle. She taught herself to surf with one arm. On January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. Her board in which she was attacked can be found at the California Surf Museum.
After the attack, Hamilton has appeared in several television shows. She appeared on television shows like the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight show, The Biggest Loser, inside Edition, The Today show, 20/20 and Good Morning America. She also appeared in the popular magazines like American Girl, People and Time. She was awarded Best Comeback Athlete at the ESPY Award and also the Courage Teen choice Award in 2004. She played herself in the film Dolphin Tale 2 and the film was released on September 12, 2014.