Kite Surfer Bit by Shark at Kaʻa, 12-15 Foot Shark SightedOctober 31, 2013, 6:52 PM HST · Updated November 1, 3:27 PM 0 Comments
By Wendy Osher
A kite surfer suffered injuries to his right leg and calf in an apparent shark attack incident at Ka’a Point in Central Maui on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 31, 2013, officials said.
The incident was reported at 3:19 p.m. about 300 yards offshore in the Kaʻa area of Kanahā Beach Park, according to incident reports.
Witnesses say the victim fell off his kite board into the water , when he was bitten while hanging onto his board, according to reports from the Aquatic Resource and Enforcement personnel from the Maui Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
According to DLNR reports, the man made it to near shore waters where he called for help that he had been bitten by a shark, and was assisted to shore by witnesses in the area. Fire officials say the man was alert, and reported that he got himself to shore by kite boarding from quite a distance out.
Crews from the Maui Fire Department’s Haz Mat team arrived on scene to find the shark bite victim already in the care of Ocean Safety lifeguards and police, said Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga.
Lifeguards applied a dressing to the man’s wound on his right calf and to lacerations in his heel area, before being transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition, said FS Chief Mainaga. The man is reportedly a foreign visitor to Maui and was described as in his 40s.
County Ocean Safety lifeguards went out on jetskis following the incident and reported that they saw a tiger shark estimated at 12 to 15 feet in the water, according to DLNR reports.
The beach was closed for one mile in either direction from Stable Road to Pier 1 at Kahului Harbor. Warning signs were also posted by DLNR personnel and county lifeguards.
Per the state shark incident response protocol, the beach area will remain closed overnight and in the morning, an assessment will be done, according to DLNR officials. If there is no further sighting of a shark the beach will re-open at noon.