Shark Sighting Closes South Maui Beaches for 2 Hours on Wednesday

November 24, 2016, 10:47 AM HST · Updated November 24, 10:50 AM
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Shark sighting Kamaole. Maui Now graphic.

Shark sighting Kamaole. Maui Now graphic.

Ocean safety lifeguards temporarily closed several beach parks in Kihei at around 10:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, because of a shark sighting at Kamaʻole Beach Park I.

Lifeguards were alerted by standup paddle boarders who had exited the water on the south end of Kamaʻole Beach Park I.

Maui fire officials say the group witnessed five hammerhead sharks about 6 feet in length, circle their boards and then swim off. The incident took place in shallow water when the paddlers were about 10 feet from shore.

Other beachgoers on shore also witnessed the event, saying it was close to shore and the water visibility was reportedly very clear.

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Lifeguards cleared the ocean of swimmers and closed the beaches at Kamaʻole Beach Parks I, II, and III, and at Cove Park.

Shark warning signs were posted along those beaches for 2 hours while lifeguards patrolled the waters on rescue watercraft.

The beaches were reopened at 12:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, after no additional sharks were sighted.

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The sighting comes a week after a shark attack reported at the same beach on Nov. 14, 2016.  In that incident, a 58-year-old Kīhei woman was bitten on her right calf and right thigh while floating on the surface and hanging onto a foam flotation device about 40 yards offshore from Kama‘ole Beach Park 1.

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