Shark Attack: Kamaʻole Closed, Woman Hospitalized
A 58-year-old Kīhei woman is recovering today from wounds sustained in a suspected shark attack in South Maui waters on Monday morning.
DLNR authorities tell Maui Now that the woman described a large shark biting her about 40 yards offshore from Kama‘ole Beach Park 1 at 10:01 a.m. Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.
Officials with the Maui Fire Department say the woman was reportedly floating on the surface and hanging onto a foam flotation device when she was bitten on her right calf and right thigh.
Maui Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said the woman reported seeing what looked like a “large shark.” She swam to shore on her own power and was assisted out of the water by bystanders directly in front of the lifeguard tower.
Lifeguards treated the woman for injuries consistent with that of a shark bite before she was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center in serious condition.
Fire officials say ocean conditions were reported to be “quite good, with water visibility clear,” and one- to two-foot surf.
The county has posted shark-sighted signs from Kalama Park to the Kīhei Boat Ramp, and ocean safety crews are also patrolling the water on a jet ski, warning beach goers to stay out of the water.
The closure extends for one-mile on both sides of Kamaʻole I and includes Kamaʻole Beach Parks I, II, and III, as well as Cove and Kalama Parks. The area will remain closed until noon on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016.
Maui County lifeguards, along with state conservation officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, will continue patrolling area waters. If no additional shark activity is observed, the beach closures will be lifted and the shark warning signs taken down at noon on Tuesday.
A Division of Ocean Conservation and Resource Enforcement officer has been dispatched to the hospital to interview the victim and review her injuries.
Kamaʻole Beach Parks 1, 2 and 3 have been shut down due to a shark attack reported at around 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, Maui police have confirmed.
Emergency crews are on scene. DLNR are monitoring the area.
**Check back for full details, which will be posted as they become available.
Below is a list of the most recent shark bite incidents off of Maui:
Maui Shark Bite Incidents so far in 2016:
- October 21, 2016, 4:50 pm: Maui, Pā‘ia, Ho‘okipa Beach Park, approx 100 yds from shore. Jamie Federico was surfing in 6 to 10 feet of turbid water. State officials say he sustained lacerations to his left arm, hand, and leg. The species of shark is unknown, and the length was estimated at 6-8 feet.
- October 14, 2016, 10 a.m.: A female snorkeler suffered injuries to her lower left leg in a shark bite incident this morning (Friday, Oct. 14, 2016) off of Charly Young Beach in Kīhei.
- August 6, 2016, 4:30 p.m.: Maui stand-up paddleboarder, Connor Baxter was using a SUP hydrofoil when the long foil attached to his SUP board was bit by a tiger shark, estimated to be 10 feet long. The incident was reported in the Hamakuapoko area of Pā‘ia, about one mile from shore. DLNR officials say the incident occurred in 40-50 feet of water that was described as being turbid.
- May 3, 2016, 3:50 p.m.: A 59-year-old man suffered minor lacerations to his right shoulder while floating in waters off of Wailea Beach about 40 yards from shore in 15-20 feet of turbid water. The species and length of the shark is unknown.
- March 31, 2016, 11 a.m.: A 46-year old female visitor was snorkeling with a commercial tour when a shark bit her snorkel fin. The incident occurred in Olowalu, approximately 400-450 yards from shore in 15-20 feet of turbid water. (J. Orr). Authorities say the woman sustained a minor laceration to left foot. The shark was described as a tiger shark, measuring approximately 8 feet long.
- Jan. 23, 2016, 10:30 a.m.: Wailea Beach Point, 150-200 yards from shore. A 10-12 foot shark bit the tail of a paddleboard being operated by a stand-up paddleboarder in 30 feet of water during clear conditions. The shark was a 10-12 foot Tiger shark.
3 Maui Shark Bite Incidents in 2015:
- Oct. 31, 2015, 3:30 p.m.: Lāna‘i, Po‘aīwa Beach, approx 300 yards from shore Spearfishing Turbid est 25 ft Confidential. No injury; shark bit weight belt. Considered a provoked incident due to activity. Tiger shark, length 10-12 feet.
- April 29, 2015, est. 8:30 a.m. ʻĀhihi Kīnaʻu Bay, Kanahena Point, approx 200 yards from shore Snorkeling Turbid 20-35 ft M. Cruse. Fatal. Severe deep lacerations to right shoulder and underarm; minor lacerations to right arm and right side of face. Species and length unknown.
- Jan. 27, 2015, 3:30 a.m.: Maui, Pali scenic lookout Fishing Turbid on shore M. Pollard. Lacerations to left calf. Considered a provoked incident due to activity. Reef shark, species unknown, length 4 feet.
5 Maui Shark Bite Incidents in 2014:
- Nov. 13, 2014: A 50 year old Homer, Alaska man, snorkeling in the ocean off ofKahekili “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.
- Oct. 22, 2014: A Kīhei woman who was standup paddle boarding approximately 200 yards offshore in 6 feet of water at Waipuʻilani Beach Park reported that a tiger shark knocked her into the water and bit the tail portion of her board.
- Oct. 20, 2014: a 58-year-old man was stand up paddle boarding at Kahului Harbor when a shark reportedly bit the man’s board.
- Oct. 18, 2014: a surfer fended off a shark attack at Māʻalaea. In that incident, park officials say a 12 to 14 foot shark bit the man’s board.
- July 16, 2014: 5:20 p.m. at Pāʻia Bay, 200-250 yards from shore in 15 to 20 feet of water. A swimmer reported being bitten by a 6 to 7 foot reef shark and sustained lacerations to his left foot.
8 Maui Shark Bite Incidents in 2013:
- Dec. 2, 2013: 10:20 a.m. in Mākena, approximately 900 yards from shore in about 100 feet of water. A man who was fishing from a kayak died after sustaining a severe deep laceration and loss of tissue on right calf. State officials say they consider the encounter a provoked incident due to activity. The species and length of the shark is unknown.
- Nov. 29, 2013: 1 p.m. in Kīhei at Keawakapu, approximately 30-40 yards from shore in 10 to 15 feet of water. A snorkeler sustained a severe laceration to their right inner calf, as well as minor lacerations and puncture wounds to the right shin and ankle. State officials say the species and length of the shark is unknown.
- October 31, 2013, at Ka’a Point in Central Maui: A kite surfer suffered injuries to his right leg and calf in an apparent shark attack incident about 300 yards offshore.
- October 23, 2013, off of Kukona Place in Waiehu: Shane Mills of Maui suffered a laceration to his lower back and left thigh in an apparent shark bite incident.
- August 14, 2013, at Palauea Beach, also known as White Rock in Māken: Jana Lutteropp, a 20-year-old German woman had her arm severed in a shark attack incident and died a week later on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
- July 31, 2013, at Ulua Beach in Wailea: Evonne Cashman of California suffered puncture wounds to both surfaces of right side of torso and lacerations to right hand while swimming approximately 125 yards from shore.
- April 2, 2013, 8:20 a.m. at Kā’anapali, Honokōwai: A surfer reportedly suffered lacerations to their right leg after an encounter with a reef shark approx 100 yards from shore in six feet of water, according to state data.
- February 21, 2013, at Pāʻia Bay: A reef shark reportedly bit the rail of a foam surfboard while J. Lansky was surfing approximately 75 yards from shore in 5 to 8 feet of water, according to the state data.
- The Hawaii Sharks website is used to document confirmed shark encounters, and “does not include encounters in which a shark does not actually bite a person or board, nor incidents classified by the International Shark Attack File as boat attacks, scavenge, or doubtful.”
- *Supporting information courtesy: State Department of Land and Natural Resources.