At the age of thirteen, on October 31, 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude.
Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In 2007, Bethany realized her dream and turned pro. Bethany has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events with her major highlight being a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.
Since losing her arm, Bethany's story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with numerous awards, public appearances, and various speaking engagements. In October 2004, Bethany shared her life story in her autobiography entitled Soul Surfer. Seven years later, the book was made into a major motion picture. Other books Bethany has written include Devotions for the Soul Surfer, Rise Above, A Soul Surfer Bible, Ask Bethany, and Clash, Burned, Storm, and Crunch. Further, Bethany was the inspiration behind Becky Baumgartner's 2007 documentary entitled Heart of a Soul Surfer.
Out of the water, Bethany has grown into a professional surfer with aspirations of becoming a beacon of inspiration and hope. Through the platform of professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire others through her life story, and is involved in numerous other charitable efforts.
- Faith-Based Presentations
- Soul Surfer