Colin W. Cook, left, was surfing in the Pacific Ocean off Haleiwa, Hawaii, on Oct. 9, 2015, when he was attacked by an 11-foot-long tiger shark, which severed his left leg above the knee. He managed to stay with his surfboard in the bloodied water, but the shark remained in the immediate vicinity, threatening him.
Luckily, Keoni Bowthorpe, then 33, a filmmaker from Haleiwa, was also nearby, paddle boarding. He immediately responded to aid Cook, pulling Cook atop him and then paddling his eight-foot board to shore, which was about 600 feet away. “Instinct kind of takes over and your body does things without your permission,” Bowthorpe later told a reporter.
For his heroic actions, Bowthorpe was awarded the Carnegie Medal in September 2016, as were 24 others from throughout the U.S. The photo is by Nathalie Walker of MidWeek, Honolulu, Hawaii, and is used with permission.