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12-Foot Tiger Shark Sighting Prompts Temporary Closure of South Maui Shoreline

May 23, 2018, 12:00 PM HST · Updated May 23, 1:39 PM
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Shark Sighting sign. Maui Now file image.

Update: Ocean areas surrounding Makena State Park reopened

As of 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, the ocean closure in South Maui, from Oneuli Beach to Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve, including all areas of Makena State Park have been lifted and beachgoers allowed back in.

County lifeguards patrolling on watercraft and state conservation officers from the DLNR monitoring near shore waters and have not seen the tiger shark reenter the affected closure area. The 12 foot tiger shark was last observed at around 10:45 a.m. swimming about 50 feet from shore in a southerly direction near the park’s south entrance. The shark was swimming in a non-aggressive manner.

Ocean users should be aware that ocean predators will move about freely and may reenter these areas at any time. If shark presence is observed, they should leave the water immediately and notify the closest on duty lifeguard or dial 911 if lifeguards have left for the day.

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County of Maui Lifeguards at Mākena State Park closed the ocean waters to park users because of a 12-foot tiger shark seen swimming about 50-feet from shore near the park’s south entrance at around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

County lifeguards and officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement are warning ocean users to stay out of the water until 12:45 p.m.

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If there are no addition sightings of the tiger shark after the standard 2 hour waiting period, the closure will be lifted and ocean users allowed back in.

The northern boundary of the closure starts from Oneuli Beach, also known as Black Sand Beach, and continues south of Mākena State Park ending at the start of ʻAhihi Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve.

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