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FIRST PHOTOS: Shark Attack Survivor Recovering on Maui

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   August 1st, 2013 · 52 Disqus Comments ·
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Evonne Cashman, was suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

“It happened so fast. I didn’t see him coming. I didn’t see him leave. He just came and hit me hard, and bit me hard; and I took off swimming to the shore as fast as I could,” said Evonne Cashman, who was bitten by what doctors estimate was a 20 to 25-foot shark.

Although officials at Maui Memorial Medical Center confirmed doctor estimates of the shark size, officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said they are still conducting an investigation and have not yet made an informed determination on the size or type of shark involved.

DLNR Education and Outreach Coordinator, Laura Stevens said beaches that were closed yesterday have since reopened as of noon today.

Officials say Cashman, 56, of Cerritos, California was snorkeling in waters off of Ulua Beach about 30 feet from shore in about 10 feet of water when the incident occurred on Wednesday morning.

During an interview at her bedside, Cashman showed bites marks on hands, chin, and said she also had bite marks on her back and impressions with bruises across her stomach.

Family members say the bite on Cashman’s back extends at least 18 inches, coming down to her waist and curving around to the front of her torso and stomach area.

According to Cashman, the attack tore a couple of holes in her “favorite” bathing suit, which had to be cut off while paramedics assessed her injuries.

Evonne Cashman, was suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Cashman, who is a repeat visitor to Maui, said she had been to Ulua Beach before, and had been snorkeling earlier in the week at other locations.

Cashman said she was excited to see a “big” turtle moments before being bit and said there were lots of fish around closer to shore.

According to Cashman, she had been snorkeling for 30 to 45 minutes, and was ready to come in when, “all of a sudden, out of nowhere, bam,” she said.

“He let go as quickly as he bit me. So then I just started swimming to shore as fast as I could, yelling help the whole way.”

“What went through my mind was, just getting back to shore. And I swam. My mask was gone. I think that might have been what protected my face from getting more (injuries),” said Cashman who noted that her mask fell off.

With her hands bleeding and having swallowed some water on the way, Cashman said it took a few minutes to get back to shore with the help of others.

Evonne Cashman, was suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and something good will come out of this,” she said. Going back in the water I know it won’t happen this trip. But I will go in sometime.”

Cashman, who is staying at the nearby Maui Hill condominiums, said she will be checking out of the Maui Memorial Medical Center today, and will be on Maui through Tuesday.

“I’m very lucky that he decided he didn’t like me and swam away right away,” said Cashman.

“I’ve learned now that after a couple days from a storm, you should wait to go in the water, because it was rather choppy and it was rather murky. I could see to the bottom without any problem, but there was lots of debris,” said Cashman.

Cashman said she did plan on going back in the water again to snorkel, but probably not on this trip. “I can’t imagine not doing it again,” she said.

Shark signage posted at Ulua Beach in Wailea, 7/31/13. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, was suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Evonne Cashman, suffered injuries from a shark attack at Ulua Beach in South Maui on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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  • Jacinto

    There is no way that was a 25′ shark.

    • Ivahi

      How do you know this?

      • Justsayin808

        No way 25ft……..She would of been in 2 pieces if it was that size……

        • Brennan444

          the largest “white shark” on record is 23 ft., so 25? hmm probally not

      • Jacinto

        JAWS was 25 foot. That would be a record size tiger shark and she would not be alive to tell the tale. A test bite from a 25′ shark would be half your body.

        • bluepacificshark

          It was half her body. Did you read the article? The bite began at the base of her spine all the way to her face. The shark tasted her(they do that with their teeth), determined she did not have enough fat to be worth the kill and didn’t bite down. That’s why she is as healthy as she is today and not dead or mangled.

      • gfxdemon

        because a great white is only 2o ft in length. the doctor reported this doesn’t know his facts. it more likely that she was biten a few times by a tiger shark

  • Reef

    I’m sure glad she is ok. It would seem there would be a witness to this tho. Ulua, 30 feet out, is usually pretty busy.

    Also: Comming with 2 m’s? Really? No spell checker?

    • Medicine-is-My-Game

      She said people helped her get back to shore. I’m glad they’re all safe!

  • http://battlecougar.com/ James Sugrue

    25′ ? You’re gonna need a bigger boat.

  • ScaredHonu

    Okay, seems kinda TOO big, but ya’all weren’t there, were you? So if she says it was that big, then believe it until more information is known, like after someone actually hunts the thing down and brings it in or something. There’s gotta be a “Captain Quint”-like someone out there who makes a living by hunting down the big boys.

    • Ivahi

      Yes, thank you!

    • ScaredHonu

      Oops, sorry, re-read the story which says that doctors gave the estimated size of the shark, not the woman. Oh, well, if it was one bite only, then that fish must’ve had a pretty big mouth, no?

    • gfxdemon

      they don’t hunt done sharks for attack as it stupid. sharks can swim 100 miles or more so even if you find a shark you wouldn’t know if it was the shark responsible for the attack

  • saltlife

    Why are we going to hunt it?? Because it’s acting like a shark? And that’s what they do? Don’t forget that we are “playing” in their house. Respect, or get out of the water. You know the risk you take when entering. It’s not like “Jaws”, they aren’t man hunters. Statistics prove you have a better chance of being struck by lightening then bitten by a shark….just like the guy in Makawao who got struck on Monday, it’s was just a bad luck kinda day. Leave it at that. I hope she recovers well by the way:)

    • Maui_Mike

      No one is saying they will be hunting down the shark, they don’t do that anymore.

    • ScaredHonu

      Okay, okay, it was me who wrote that above. Let’s say you are correct in that sharks are not man hunters. However, would it be reasonable to also say that sharks may naturally be protective over their hunting grounds, like maybe dogs are about the property (“their house”) that they live on??? So, it could be that sharks may not intend to hurt or kill humans, but it does happen, and bet’cha any money it can happen again. Well, you might say, make it known to the visitor community to stay out of the ocean because it’s “where sharks live” and, duh, guess what happens then? Say what you want, but if this sort of information/warning/disclaimer (?) eventually affects the tourism industry in a dramatically negative way (less $$$), know that there will be a push from somewhere to remove the cause. I am glad that the woman was allowed to escape and hope for her speedy recovery.

    • ScaredHonu

      [Repost after this was deleted earlier] Okay, okay, it was me who wrote that above. Let’s say you are correct
      in that sharks are not man hunters. However, would it be reasonable to
      also say that sharks may naturally be protective over their hunting
      grounds, like maybe dogs are about the property (“their house”) that
      they live on??? So, it could be that sharks may not intend to hurt or
      kill humans, but it does happen, and bet’cha any money it can happen
      again. Well, you might say, make it known to the visitor community to
      stay out of the ocean because it’s “where sharks live” and, duh, guess
      what happens then? Say what you want, but if this sort of
      information/warning/disclaimer (?) eventually affects the tourism
      industry in a dramatically negative way (less $$$), know that there will
      be a push from somewhere to remove the cause. I am glad that the woman
      was allowed to escape and hope for her speedy recovery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.h.mario Jennifer Huntley Mario

    Wow, my kids were in the water right near her at that exact time coming in from a scuba dive–scary to think about.

    • karmen

      then they should have seen the ambulances and the hubabaloo at the beach. bet they made that up

  • Ivahi

    Glad she’s ok and she plans to snorkel again…good for her!

  • Lucas

    I think she meant a 20 to 25 inch barracuda attacked her…

  • james

    Super bummer this lady got bit on her vacation. But I agree 20′-25′ shark seems too far fetched. That’s record material. Sharks that big take chunks and limbs not cuts.

  • Kinipele

    Just the night before while I was jogging I was shocked to see a number of locals boogie boarding in that area after dark. I live here and commented to my friend that you wouldn’t catch me in that water the day after a storm, let alone after dark unless I had a light and spear. People just don’t think sometimes. She’s got a great attitude and learned a good lesson the hard way. Hope she has a quick recovery!

    • Medicine-is-My-Game

      Kinipele, I’m not some weirdo, but if I ever visit Hawaii I want to hang out with you. LOL You sound smart and you might tell me when I was going to do something touristy and dumb! :)

  • Bababooey

    Anyone else thinking that maybe she wasn’t even bit by a shark? Maybe she caught some surge and hit the shallow reef at Ulua? I’m no expert but the cuts on her hands and face don’t look consistent with a shark bite, but certainly look consistent with being dragged across a reef. She never saw a shark. How would she even get those cuts on her hands and face from a shark biting her once in the back? My theory is when she got slammed into the reef, her PRESCRIPTION mask fell off, she couldnt see, she didn’t know what was happening and immediately panicked and thought “IM BEING EATEN BY A SHARK.” I’m calling bull**** on this story.

    • ihearafishstory

      Omg, my thoughts EXACTLY!! I was bitten by a baby nurse shark years ago and it was Tiny, and my bites were bigger than what she has! Ugh

    • http://www.evolutiondiet.org/ HSapiensNeedsToGrowUp

      My first reaction, and also after reading it. I totally agree and know Hawaii waters well from many, many hours in them. Ridiculous “bite marks”. Oh yeah, I should also tell you I don’t believe everything doctors say (saved my life). Yes, I am a skeptic, but this is at least a totally overblown mainstream media story that at the least gets way exaggerated … and then the masses buy into it as information they can count on.
      .

  • David Jenkins

    I was there. On a beach between Kihei and Wailea maui. I woke up around 8 am and saw coast guards and such wrapping a woman in towels. I could see her mangled face and hand…..but the main bite was on the upper torso…..which was covered up. Tiger sharks are common place in these waters, and following the storm (Flossie), it seems more than logical for sharks to follow murky waters inland. AND, without that added visibility, they just bite at whatever. Humans, fortunately for this woman, don’t taste good for sharks. That’s why she’s still alive.

  • Tina Rae

    I have lived in Kihei for 34 years now….. It is time for the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles to come off the Endangered Species List. I work in the Tourism industry and think they are very cute and yes I also love to snorkel and SUP out to see the Turtles…. However i also have children and now small grand children who love playing in the ocean where we are now having re-occurring Shark Sightings. Sharks are looking for Food…Turtles (especially now that they are soooo plentiful) are a favorite food of Tiger Sharks and other sharks. They have been on the Endangered Species list since 1970. Back in the day a turtle saw a human and it would swim away; afraid to become Turtle Soup; Now there are so many, rarely do you sit and look at the ocean for a while without seeing Turtles. I read that the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle is on a list to possibly be ‘de-listed” from the Endangered Species List; it can’t happen fast enough in my opinion.

    • gfxdemon

      tina if you hate sharks that much get a pool. it not the earth responsibility to protect your family.

  • casinoboy

    25ft….would be some kind of record.

  • Michelle Thompson

    Here’s a word of advise stay the hell out of the water…..Just sayin….

  • Devin Maroney

    According to the other article about this, there was a storm prior to her going snorkeling. If you live in a coastal area you know that is not a good idea because it brings sharks closer to shore. It is unfortunately her fault and I also agree that there is no way this was 20-25 feet.

  • anony5

    Oh well, i cant feel sorry when people are in their habitat. Its a risk you take everytime you enter the ocean, and the shark obviously was just testing her to see if she was food, when he found out she wasn’t he let her go.

  • JustMyOpinion

    Well it is shark week!

  • NaWahine O Ke Kai

    I’m glad she’s ok. The first thing people have to realize is that when you go into the water you are entering a habitat NOT of your making. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings and rule # 1 prevails here. WHERE ARE YOU ON THE FOOD CHAIN ? Pretty low cousin and definitely NOT at the top any more when you’re PLAYING in their ocean. Wana can do damage so you don’t even have to be completely in the water. RESPECT the aina and don’t take things for granted if you’re just visiting. Malama Pono

  • Medicine-is-My-Game

    I’m sure the medical staff have seen other shark wounds, so have something to compare this bite to. This is a mature woman. A bite reaching from the spine base to face is not small, IMHO.

    • gfxdemon

      25ft shark please. he was mistaken it was more likely 15 ft and she was bitten several times. doctors make mistakes. it like in California a doctor telling a patient that sucking out the venom of a snake bite save a person life when in fact that kills more people and in reality it was because the person went to the hospital right away.

    • Jacinto

      Hospital is clueless. oh nos, Megladon has hit Maui for shark week! lol.

  • Son of Liberty

    “When you enter the ocean, you enter the food chain – Mackey Cocket”

  • smile

    56 retired and on vacation in Maui. Glad us California taxpayers can afford the free medical and generous pension so the public school teacher can enjoy her hard earned retirement.

  • gfxdemon

    why don’t we just kill you bbig. sharks don’t intend to kill us. if they did we be dead every time we go to the beach. we go into there territory they don’t go into ours. we need sharks to maintain a healthy ocean it people like you that are killing this planet.

  • HereandEverywhere

    The only good shark is a dead shark

    • Ursus

      “The only good human is a dead human”

  • Larry Mondelo

    who cares how big the shark was. it deserves a big thank you for being a picky eater

  • sand12

    It looks like it not only a bad month to be a seal LOL. I wont not swim when im in the islands. Just use your head. Like hikeing in bear territory. Dont go where theres green turtles. They folllow them. Dont go in right after a storm, when the waters murky. Ask questions.
    They will be stepping up security with sea doos and aircraft now.
    You cant let fear keep you from living life and enjoying the outdoors. Theres risk in everything. Go out and play. Have fun. The odds are really with you, that you will be fine. Have a buddy to swim with. 4 eyes are better than 2.

  • Nancy Lea

    You come snooping around my house you’ll get more than bitten..

  • JonInVa

    No matter the size, I don’t think it actually “bit” down or she’s be dead. It was a bump and go to check it out. Lucky she’s not Starkist cause “that’s tuna that tastes good”.

  • Doug

    According To the internet the Largest Great White ever recorded was 21 Ft. Mentioned in the news was that this could be a lemon shark, the largest was 9.8 feet. And also in the news it could be a Galapagos the largest 13 ft. This is Maui not Jurassic park. Source is Wikipedia.

  • Emily Baldino

    It was a tiger shark and the shark experts downgraded the initial estimate by the ER Doctor to be 8 to 12 feet long. She did not know that you were not supposed to go out in the water 1 to 2 days after a storm or she wouldn’t have been in there! Maybe they should post signs that would warn tourists of this information.

  • MarineMom2010

    I disagree…I saw what I believe was at least a 20 footer 30 yards off Kamaole 3 two weeks ago shadowing a couple of snorkelers…


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