Kansas Visitor Injured in Hapuna Beach Shark Attack

March 18, 2015, 3:33 PM HST · Updated March 18, 5:06 PM
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Shark attack, Hāpuna Beach, Hawaiʻi Island. Graphics by Wendy Osher.

Shark attack, Hāpuna Beach, Hawaiʻi Island. Graphics by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

A Kansas man suffered severe lacerations to his left forearm, and an injury to his left thigh during a shark attack reported at Hāpuna Beach on Hawaiʻi Island this morning.

Hawaiʻi Island Police say the 58-year-old man from Overland Park, Kansas, had been snorkeling with family at the south point of the beach when a shark bit him on the arm.

The incident was reported at around 11:46 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

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Police say the man was assisted to shore and taken to the North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital where he was treated.

South Kohala officers responded to the area and helped other responding units to evacuate swimmers from area waters.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources issued an update this afternoon describing the shark as a 10-12 foot long tiger shark, which was seen again in the bay some time after 1 p.m.

Department personnel posted shark warning signs in the area along Hāpuna Beach, and as far north as Spencer Beach Park, and south to Puakō.  Hāpuna Beach will remain closed until the Hawaiʻi County Fire Department conducts a helicopter flyover tomorrow morning.

If a shark is sighted, the area will remain closed; however, if no shark is sighted during the 11 a.m. flyover, the park will reopen at noon on Thursday, March 19, 2015.

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