A San Diego man is slowly recovering overseas after being attacked by a shark while surfing in Bali last week, his family confirms.
Ryan Boarman – an avid traveler, surfer and graduate of Monte Vista High School and California State University Long Beach (CSULB) – was surfing with friends in the waters off Bali around 7 a.m. on April 24 when, suddenly, he felt extreme pain shooting through his arm.
According to his family, Boarman was attacked by a shark, the creature biting through his right arm near his elbow, tearing through muscle all the way to the bone.
Despite tremendous blood loss from the bite, Boarman managed to ride a wave onto shore where he then collapsed. His friends and bystanders pulled him from the water and he was rushed to a local hospital.
Boarman’s family said the surfer underwent hours of emergency surgery and doctors were able to save his arm. Now, his family is trying to get Boarman to Singapore so he can get more advanced medical care.
Loved ones have launched a GoFundMe page to cover the costs and, as of 11 a.m. Thursday, had raised more than $17,300. The page says all funds will be used to get Boarman to Singapore and for medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Any unused funds will be donated to ocean conservation charities – a cause Boarman is passionate about.
NBC 7 spoke with Boarman’s brother-in-law, Kevin Cradic, who said the family is anxious to get him to Singapore. At this point, Boarman is not well enough to travel back to San Diego, which is why they’re seeking treatment for him in Singapore.
They hope to transfer him there by 3 p.m. Thursday. Cradic said Boarman’s father is on his way overseas to reunite with his son within the next few hours.
Cradic said Boarman is in stable condition but still in a lot of pain. Further treatment will give the family a better idea of whether or not Boarman will regain full use of his arm.
Cradic said Boarman was surfing in a river mouth in semi-murky water at the time of the shark attack. He saw the six-foot shark for a brief moment after it bit him, as it swam away from him.
When he got to the shore, Cradic said Boarman told friends “it was a good ride,” right before he passed out.
“He lives for the ocean,”Cradic told NBC 7. “He’s a very strong swimmer. I speculate that his strength with swimming is what made him get on that board and get back to shore, and saved his life with how much blood he lost.”
According to loved ones, Boarman has been surfing since childhood – a hobby he grew to love while growing up in Riverside, California. When the family moved to San Diego, Boarman began surfing every day. He has surfed all over the world, including Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Vietnam, Portugal and Indonesia.
Cradic said he has no doubt Boarman will get back in the water to surf as soon as he has fully recovered.
Boarman has a degree in Geography with an emphasis in GIS Mapping from Cal State Long Beach and works as a field biologist on wildlife conservation projects. He’s also a certified master diver.