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(NEWSER) – Brian Wargo doesn't remember consciously thinking about what he should do when he saw his friend being attacked by a shark—but he obviously took the right course of action, because he likely saved her life. Wargo and McKenzie Clark were surfing off North Kohala on Hawaii's Big Island on Friday when Clark bumped into something in the water, ABC News reports.

That something was a shark. "At that point, his head was on my board and his jaws were chomping down," she says. From his vantage point, Wargo saw what appeared to be a 12-foot-long shark tossing Clark in the air and biting her hand and immediately started swimming their way as fast as he could. "I'm a fisherman and I've dealt with big animals," he tells West Hawaii Today. "Its intent was to eat my friend right in front of me and I wasn't going to let that happen.”

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