By Wendy Osher
***An exclusive interview with the shark attack survivor is now posted at the following LINK.
A portion of Kanaha Beach in Central Maui is closed this morning because of a shark attack reported between 7:50 and 8:15 a.m. at an area known as “Kite Beach” or “Bone-yard,” county officials said.
Maui Communications Director Rod Antone said the 8 to 9-foot shark took a bite out of a board that was being used by a stand-up paddler.
The paddler was not injured, but retaliated by striking the shark with his paddle, said Antone.
Witnesses have identified the paddle-boarder as Dave Peterson, a well-known SUP board shaper.
Fellow paddle-boarder, Deb Lynch, who was on the water when the incident occurred said the shark came up and bit Peterson’s board “and he fought it off, striking repeatedly with his paddle.”
“The shark made a second attack, coming onto Dave’s board knocking him off, and he struck it again. Then it swam away,” said Lynch.
County of Maui Ocean Safety officers and DLNR have closed the beach one mile on either side of the area stretching from Kahului Harbor mouth to the Kahului side of Spreckelsville.
Officers will continue to monitor the area throughout the day.
The area will be closed through sunset and re-evaluated in at sunrise, officials said.