'Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable' Will Take Viewers Inside Pro Surfer's Shark Attack and More

When did Bethany Hamilton get attacked and did they ever find the shark that did it? Find out — and get the details on her documentary ‘Unstoppable.’

Samantha Faragalli Younghans - Author

Apr. 16 2020, Updated 2:19 p.m. ET

bethany hamilton
Source: Getty Images

Bethany Hamilton made headlines everywhere nearly 16 years ago when she got her arm bitten off by a shark while surfing in Hawaii. And now, nearly two decades later, the pro surfer is letting viewers take a closer look at her life with the new documentary Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable. Scroll down for details on Bethany's attack, her upcoming documentary, and more!

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When did Bethany Hamilton get attacked?

While out with her best friend and her best friend's dad and brother, Bethany was attacked on October 31, 2003 while surfing in Tunnels Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. The 14-foot tiger shark bit off her left arm just below the shoulder in the vicious attack.

After the tragic incident, Bethany was rushed to the hospital and was said to have lost 60% of her blood and was in hypovolemic shock. Her dad was already at the hospital to undergo knee surgery, but she took over his room and his surgery was postponed. 

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How old was Bethany Hamilton when she got attacked? 

At the time of the attack in 2003, Bethany was just 13 years old. She is now 29 years old. 

Did they ever find the exact shark that bit Bethany's arm?

Yes. At the time, a family of fisherman led by Ralph Young caught and killed a tiger shark about one mile from the site of the attack. After finding surfboard debris in the shark's mouth as well as matching its mouth to the size of her broken board, in 2004, police confirmed that was in fact the shark that injured her.

bethany hamilton
Source: Getty Images
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Does Bethany still surf today despite losing her arm?

Just three to four weeks after Bethany got her arm bitten off in the vicious attack, the surfer was back to riding the waves! When she first returned to the sport, however, she was using a longer and thicker board with a handle for her right arm. 

But in no time at all, she was back to using the same board every surfer uses in competitions.

On January 10, 2004, just two months after the attack, she entered a major surfing competition and continues to competitively surf to this day.

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What else is Bethany up to now? 

In addition to surfing and working on her documentary and other projects, Bethany is also a wife and mother to two kids. In August 2013, she married her husband, Adam Dirks. They welcomed their first son, Tobias, 4, in 2015 and second son, Wesley, 1, in 2018.

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What will Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable be about?

According to Bethany's website, "Unstoppable takes the viewer on an incredible journey as a girl becomes a woman and a resilient athlete rises to the top of her game against all odds, becoming one of the leading professional surfers in the world. From chasing her toddler, to chasing the biggest waves, Bethany is continuously rewriting the rules by living an unstoppable life, and brings new meaning to the phrase 'surfs like a girl.'"

By the looks of the bone-chilling trailer, viewers will get a look back at life before Bethany's attack, the actual attack, and after. The film will seemingly pull old news clips, footage, and interviews, while also featuring present-day sit-downs with her loved ones.

When does Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable come out in theaters?

Get ready to ride the waves with Bethany on Friday, July 12. To be honest, it looks like this story is one you won't want to miss this summer... 

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