61-Year-Old Man Injured in Shark Attack at Maui Beach
By Wendy Osher
(Update: 2:09 p.m. 11/30/12)
County officials are extending a South Maui beach closure up to the Whale Sanctuary after air crews spotted an 8- to 10-foot tiger shark while making checks of the area.
The initial closure from Kamaole III to Waipuilani Park was put into place following a shark attack this morning that injured 61-year-old Tom Kennedy from Oregon who was snorkeling in the area.
The joint decision to extend the closure was made by officials with the state DLNR and Ocean Safety divisions.
(Posted 11:11 a.m. 11/30/12)
A stretch of beach in South Maui is closed today following a shark attack reported between 9:35 and 10:15 a.m.
County officials say a 61-year-old male victim had been snorkeling with another man about 200 yards off shore, fronting 1790 Halama Street, Kihei, when the shark attack took place.
Following the attack, the victim got up on his paddleboard and was escorted into shore by family and some nearby local canoe club members, said Maui Police Lt. Wayne Ibarra.
Authorities say the male visitor from Lake Oswego, Oregon, suffered multiple lacerations to the lower left leg and thigh area, and was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment. Maui police say the man sustained a deep laceration to his left calf and was transported alert and conscious to the hospital.
County Communications Director Rod Antone said the victim reportedly told authorities that the shark’s head was about two-feet wide. Lt. Ibarra said the victim was bitten by what he described as a 10-foot shark.
Ocean Safety, Maui Fire Department personnel and officials from the Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the beach off to swimmers from Kamaole III to Waipuilani Park. Safety signs are now posted, Air 1 will be doing a fly-by of the area, and Ocean Safety officers will also patrol the waters via jet ski.
The area will remain closed until sunset, and will be re-evaluated tomorrow morning. If there are no additional confirmed shark sightings, county officials say the area will likely reopen at 11 a.m. on Saturday.