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UPDATE: Kāʻanapali Beaches Re-Opened After Apparent Shark Encounter

Shark sighting in West Maui. Graphics: Wendy Osher/Maui Now. [1]

Shark sighting in West Maui. Graphics: Wendy Osher/Maui Now.

By Wendy Osher

(Update: 12:30 p.m. 11/14/14)

State enforcement officers with the Department of Land and Natural Resources have re-opened the stretch of beach from Puʻu Kekaʻa or “Black Rock” to the start of Honokōwai Beach Park in West Maui.

This was following a shark bite report in the ocean off of Kahekili “Airport” Beach on Thursday afternoon.

(Update: 9:11 p.m. 11/13/14)

A 50 year old Homer, Alaska man, snorkeling in the ocean off of Kahekili “Airport” Beach in the Kāʻanapali area of West Maui, reported being bitten by a shark at around 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014.

The man told DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, that he “caught a glimpse of a five-foot long shark, felt a bump, and then immediate pain,” said DLNR spokesperson Dan Dennison.

According to department reports, the man was snorkeling in 20 feet of water.  While earlier reports indicated that the water was a little murky, new reports from DLNR indicate that conditions were clear.

Department officials say the man does not know how far off shore he was, but he was able to swim back to shore.

Dennison said, a friend took the man to a West Maui clinic, and then he was transported by ambulance to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment of a leg laceration.

DLNR closed the beach area stretching from Puʻu Kekaʻa or “Black Rock” to the start of Honokōwai Beach Park in West Maui. Officers will reassess conditions on Friday morning, Nov. 14, before deciding when to reopen the area.

(Update: 4 p.m. 11/13/14)

Lifeguards and state enforcement officers are monitoring the area from Puʻu Kekaʻa or “Black Rock” to Kahekili “Airport” Beach in Kāʻanapali after an apparent shark encounter on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 13, 2014.

According to Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers on Maui, “apparently a man swimming off Kahikili “Airport” Beach at Kāʻanapali, in water described as “a little murky” was bitten by a shark at about 1:30 p.m.,” said DLNR spokesperson Dan Dennison.

According to Dennison, the man did not report the incident to any officials, but a security guard on the beach directed him to a West Maui clinic which in turn sent him via a friend’s vehicle to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

Authorities were not immediately able to confirm if the bite was that of a shark, but DOCARE officers are with the victim at the hospital and are conducting a further investigation.  Crews from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources also remained on scene at last report.