Shark Attack Survivor: Laurie Boyett, 63, Wakefield, Rhode Island
Laurie Boyett was attacked while swimming 300 yards offshore on Kona, Hawaii, in 1999. She lost her right buttock and suffered severed tendons in eight fingers as she fended off a 12- to 14-foot tiger shark. Her 17-year-old nephew kept her afloat, as she bled profusely, until a rescue boat could get them to shore.
The retired school office worker still loves the ocean and swims daily five months a year near her home. Her experience deepened her religious faith and gave her a profound appreciation for life. She was introduced to shark conservation through the Pew Environment Group and is now a strong supporter. She was among a group of survivors who worked for passage of the U.S. Shark Conservation Act, which closed loopholes in the nation's shark finning ban.