South Maui Beaches Reopen After Deadly Shark Bite Incident

April 30, 2015, 1:53 PM HST · Updated May 1, 2:03 AM
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"Dumps" surf spot in Mākena at ʻĀhihi Kīnaʻu. Photo 4/29/15 by Wendy Osher.

Mākena at ʻĀhihi Kīnaʻu. Photo 4/29/15 by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

State enforcement officers reopened south Maui beaches at noon today following yesterday’s deadly shark encounter at the popular Kanahena surf spot often referred to as “Dumps.”

Maui Police have since confirmed the identity of the female victim as Margaret C. Cruse, 65, of Kīhei, Maui.

Police say despite lifesaving efforts, Cruse sustained fatal injuries consistent with a shark attack; however, the official cause of death is pending an autopsy report.

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Authorities say Cruse was snorkeling with two other friends at around 9 a.m., when she became separated from them.  Maui Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto said Cruse was found unresponsive in water about 200 yards offshore with injuries to her upper torso that suggest she was bitten by a shark.

Officials with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources say Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers observed no shark sightings since Wednesday morning, April 29, 2015.

Maui beaches, which had been closed for one mile in each direction from Kanahena in the ʻĀhihi Kīnaʻu Natural Area Reserve, were reopened following patrols and a reassessment of the area.

All beaches from “Big Beach” at Mākena State Park to the La Perouse Lighthouse at Keoniʻōʻio are now open.

“Ocean users are encouraged to exercise caution, stay near other people, and swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards whenever possible,” said Dan Dennison, with the DLNR Chair’s office.

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