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UPDATE: Shark Attack Victim Lutteropp Dies

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   August 21st, 2013 · 31 Disqus Comments ·
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Palauea Beach, also known as White Rock in Mākena, 8/14/14. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Palauea Beach, also known as White Rock in Mākena, 8/14/2013. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Jana Lutteropp, the 20-year-old German woman who had her arm severed in a shark attack incident at Maui’s Palauea Beach last week, died on Wednesday, Aug. 21, hospital officials confirmed.

In a statement released on Wednesday by Jutta Lutteropp and Julia Broeske, mother and sister of Jana, family members said:

“Jana fought hard to stay alive. However, we are sad to say that she lost her fight today.

Jana was a very beautiful, strong, young woman who was always laughing, and we will forever remember her that way.

We appreciate all the support from the Maui community, as well as the prayers and thoughts from around the world and in Germany.

We especially want to thank the wonderful caregivers and everyone at Maui Memorial Medical Center.”

Hospital officials say the family requests that any donations be made to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation in memory of Jana Lutteropp.

The attack was reported at around 4:41 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, while Lutteropp was snorkeling about 50 yards from shore. County officials say the conditions were choppy with limited visibility.

In the wake of the incident and other shark incidents in island waters, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced the launch of a shark study next month off Maui following an “unprecedented spike” in the number of shark bite incidents in recent months.

Jana Lutteropp, 20, in a photo obtained from her blog.

Jana Lutteropp, 20, in a photo obtained from her blog.

The incident comes on the heels of a separate incident in which a shark bit an unmanned board about a quarter mile offshore of Kaʻa Point near Kanahā Beach in Central Maui on Tuesday, Aug. 13. No one was injured in that incident.

And prior to that, a shark attack was reported on Wednesday July 31,  in the Ulua Beach area of South Maui. During that incident, a California woman was treated and released from the hospital after suffering bite marks to her face and torso.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has a list of tips for “Safety Dos and Don’ts” relating to water safety and sharks.

***Editor’s note: The previous fatality from a shark attack in Hawaiʻi was in 2004, when a man was attacked while surfing in Maui waters. The incident was reported at 7:13 a.m. on April 7, 2004, 100 yards from shore at Pōhaku Park in West Maui. According to the hawaiisharks.org website, the incident occurred in 10 feet of water, described as turbid conditions. Authorities say injuries from the incident were consistent with a tiger shark bite.

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  • MotherNature

    Prayers still continued for Jana and for her whole family!

  • stand alone

    My heart saddens for Jana and he family R.I.P. ALOHA. : ((

    • stand alone

      Corrections: “Her” not he

  • eoe

    Sorry to hear this, everyone on Maui was pulling for her.

  • Maui_Mike

    This news brings great sadness to my heart, my sincere condolences to her family, I and many of us grieve with you.
    Aloha Oe Jana.

  • Dakine

    R.I.P. :(

  • AintNobodyLikeJesus

    Totally sucks! She was in my thoughts and prayers…

    RIP Jana!

  • Silent Killer

    I say we hunt and kill these menace! Who’s with me?

    • mauirixxx

      Seriously? Yeah it sucks having all these shark attacks right after another, and I feel bad for the family involved, but the last person to have died from a shark attack was in 2004.

      They’re hardly a menace.

      Killing a shark for taking a bite of someone is like killing your pet cat for eating your pet mouse.

    • Get-a-grip

      Humans need to gain some perspective. The ocean is not our realm. We are only visitors there. Killing the sharks isn’t going to solve a problem that irresponsible humans impacts probably caused by overfishing.

    • Maui_Mike

      That mistake was made here many years ago after shark attacks, it was a bad idea then and now, as sad as this death is the shark was just being a shark, it had no agenda other than to eat.

  • haikubliss

    Absolutely terrible..my thought and prayers go out to her and her family.

  • guest

    MauiNow, thanks for staying on top of this sad story.

    Please update the information about the Ulua victim. Her facial and hand injuries weren’t from a shark, check the DLNR site report.

    • Dakine

      link?

      • guest

        click on the hawaiisharks link above, in the article. That leads to the DLNR official incident report list. Ms. Cashman was a lot further out than she thought, too.

        • guest

          Oh–sorry-some of the injuries on her right hand were attritbuted to a shark

  • aloha

    Praying for Jana and her family as they deal with this, especially so far away from home. Sending love and aloha to all those affected

  • Craig

    how the heck do you die from losing your arm??

    • Maui_Mike

      A number of ways, losing a limb is a great shock to the system, then there is massive blood loss which is a serious issue even if given new blood, and infection from the water is a real likely problem as well. There are more complications from traumatic loss of a limb than you would think.
      Very sad loss.

    • Toscana

      Seriously? Traumatic amputation of a limb resulting in massive blood loss leading to systemic shock, multiple organ failure and/or brain damage. She was also far from medical care – I’d imagine she was sadly well into or even past her “golden hour” of survival time by the time she reached the hospital.

    • KWW

      massive blood loss = shock = multiple organ failure = very hard to recover from.

      • david

        Maui is not know for the best results in medical care. Staph infections are often an issue. They may have done everything right here, I’m not a doctor. As stated above complications can domino.

        • KWW

          Very true. I just read somewhere that by the time they got her out of the water there was no blood left coming out.

  • P. Haack & M. Meinhardt

    R.I.P. Jana. Unser Mitgefühl gilt der Familie. Vor zwei Monaten waren wir am White Rock Beach um eine Hochzeitslocation zu finden. Was für eine Tragödie. Wir wünschen euch viel Kraft….

  • Warren

    I arrived in Maui on the day Evonne Cashman was mauled, and left the evening of the day poor Jana was attacked.
    Many of us regular snorkelers at Kamaole 2, which is relatively far
    from the area of the attacks, were very, very cautious after Mrs. Cashman was injured, waiting until
    later each day when the water was clearer and the sun higher in the sky to snorkel, and only in larger groups. The attack didn’t seem to deter the boats heading out to Molokini.

    I’m
    certainly no expert, but I suspect that the shark or sharks responsible
    are merely doing their thing, i.e., hunting in their territory. If that is the case, it might
    be prudent to hunt and kill the shark which has a taste for human.
    There are photos by a local woman of a large shark that had been lurking in the area for some months. If sharks
    are anything like other predators, they return to a viable feeding
    ground until the area becomes nonviable, or they are killed.

    My heart goes out to the respective families, especially Jana’s for their loss.

    • RPrior

      Man Eaters of any kind should be hunted.

      Having spent many years diving in the Pacific amongst sharks, there have been few instances where I have been concerned for my safety – but I always carried a defensive weapon. I do not fancy being breakfast for any creature.

      All sympathy to the family and close friends of Jana

  • eat um up

    I still say its time to start eating some of those amakuas the turtles, and sharks. Too many out there.

  • eat um up

    I still say its time to start eating some of those amakuas the turtles, and sharks. Too many out there.

  • AntiToad

    All of you who take position to not kill the threat(s) obviously do not go in the water. If it happened to you or someone you loved you’d definitely have a different perspective. Shut up already about “we’re just visitors there”, “the ocean is not our place”, and all those kinds of statements. What, don’t you all consume seafood? Believe it or not, eating anything from the ocean makes you indirectly competing with those maneaters in the foodchain, as if you were in the water yourselves. Heh, like you all are experts on shark behavior. And, what’s a study going to do? Better to spend the money killing off those killers! Give me a break…………

    • BOZO

      THINK ABOUT YOUR STATEMENT THAT IS LIKE SAYING BECAUSE YOUR NEIGHBOR SHOT SOME ONE THAT IT IS OK FOR ME TO GO AND HUNT EVERYONE! DUMMY!

      • AntiToad

        Okay, we’ll follow your idiotic context. So, if your neighbor was randomly picking people off with some gun through a window, would you just walk, jog, drive, etc. past his/her house? Yes? Good luck. No? Okay, what would you do? Now, what if your kid got hurt or killed by such neighbor, then what?


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