Shark Bite Incident in Olowalu, Maui

March 31, 2016, 4:34 PM HST · Updated April 1, 8:15 AM
Wendy Osher · 50 Comments
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Shark warning sign. Maui Now file photo.

Shark warning sign. Maui Now file photo.

SHARK REPORT INCIDENT: 4:22 p.m. 3/31/16. We have confirmed reports of a shark bite incident in the Olowalu area of West Maui. Officials with DLNR tell Maui Now that it was a “minor” incident involving an individual in a commercial tour group.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources posted shark warning signs along the west Maui coastline from Lone Pine (near milepost 13 on Honoapi‘ilani Highway) to the Olowalu Recycling Center.

The report was received just before 2 p.m. today that 46-year old female visitor was bitten on her snorkel fin by a shark, according to information compiled by DLNR.

According to authorities, the woman was snorkeling in the late morning with a tour group a half-mile off Olowalu.

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“She was in 18 feet of murky water when she felt a tug on her fin, and looked back to see a gray-colored shark swimming away. She was treated on the boat for a minor injury to her foot,” said DLNR officials in a department press release.

DLNR officials say an on-board employee of the Teralani 2 tour company reported that an eight-foot tiger shark was seen swimming away.

Following the state’s shark warning protocols, officials with DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement and Division of Aquatic Resources posted shark warning signs, which will remain up until noon on Friday, April 1, 2016, when the situation will be re-assessed.

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DOCARE and Ocean safety personnel were warning ocean users on a jetski, and beachgoers of the incident, while patrolling the shore.

According to the DLNR, Olowalu is the only place in the state which has permanent shark warning signs posted.

For safety tips and other shark information go to hawaiisharks.org

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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