Maui County Ocean Safety officers said they responded to a shark attack at 10:15 a.m. in Khei waters on Friday, Nov. 20. The 61-year-old male victim had been snorkeling with another man about 200 yards off shore, fronting 1790 Halama St., when the shark attack took place. The victim suffered multiple lacerations to the lower left leg and thigh area.
At this time the size of the shark and type are unknown, but the victim did say that the shark's head was about two feet wide.
The victim was treated on shore and transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Ocean Safety, Maui Fire Department personnel and officials from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the beach off to swimmers from Kama'ole III to Waipuilani Park. There are safety signs posted and Air 1 will be doing a flyby of the area shortly, along with Ocean Safety patrolling the waters via jet ski.
The area will remain closed until sunset and re-evaluated tomorrow morning. If there are no additional confirmed shark sightings the area will likely reopen at 11 a.m.
UPDATE: County safety officers are extending the beach closure up to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary because Air 1 spotted an 8- to 10-foot tiger shark and followed it to the sanctuary while making checks. DLNR and Ocean Safety made the joint decision.
UPDATE: Maui police have identified the victim as a visitor from Lake Oswego, Oregon, who was snorkeling approximately 250 yards off-shore when he was bitten on the left calf by what he described as a 10-foot shark. Following the attack the victim got up on his paddleboard and was escorted to shore by family and some nearby local canoe club members.
UPDATE: There have been some reports of a shark attack near Honolua Bay in West Maui this morning. Those reports are from second hand sources and cannot be confirmed. As of this time there is no second shark attack on Maui.