05/07/2007 Peller Marion (Hawaii)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.

05/07/2007 Peller Marion (Hawaii)

Postby sharkbait » Mon May 07, 2007 11:11 pm

Woman attacked by shark off Maui

Honolulu - A woman snorkeling off Maui was bitten by a shark on Monday, about an hour after a nearby beach was closed because of a shark sighting.

The woman, believed to be in her 60s, suffered injuries to her foot and calf and was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Centre. The injuries were not life threatening, said Maui County spokesperson Mahina Martin.

Authorities did not immediately release the woman's name or hometown.

Keawakapu is more than one mile from Kamaole
The attack, which occurred off Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, it was reported at 8.34am by a bystander on the beach. The size and type of shark was not immediately known.

At 7.30am, a surfer reported that his friend's surfboard had been bumped by what appeared to be a tiger shark at nearby Kamaole Beach Park II, prompting a closure of that beach and a shark alert by the county.

"Normally, what happens in a shark sighting is they close that front area and a 1,6km up and down the beach," Martin said.

She said Keawakapu is more than one mile from Kamaole.

After the attack, the beach closure was expanded to a 6,4km stretch from Kalama Park to Wailea. The area was being monitored by lifeguards and state wildlife officials.

The last shark attack in Hawaii occurred in November in the same area. Kyle Gruen, 29, was bitten by a shark he estimated to be 1,8 to three metres long while swimming off Kamaole. Gruen, of Vancouver, Canada, suffered injuries to his hand and leg.

It was one of four Hawaii shark attacks in 2006. None were fatal.

There are about 40 species of sharks that live in Hawaiian waters, but the most frequently encountered are the tiger, whitetip reef, sandbar, and scalloped hammerhead sharks, according to the state department of land and natural resources.


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Postby sharkbait » Mon May 07, 2007 11:13 pm

Shark bites woman off Maui, hour after shark bumps into surfer

HONOLULU A woman snorkeling off Maui was bitten by a shark today, about an hour after a nearby beach was closed because of a shark sighting.

The woman, believed to be in her 60s, sustained injuries to her foot and calf and was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

Authorities did not immediately release the woman's name or hometown.

The attack occurred off Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. It was reported at 8:34 a-m by a bystander on the beach. The size and type of shark was not immediately known.

At 7:30 a-m, a surfer reported that his friend's surfboard was bumped by what appeared to be a tiger shark at nearby Kamaole Beach Park, prompting a closure of that beach and a shark alert by the county.


The last shark attack in Hawaii occurred in November in the same area. Kyle Gruen, was bit by a shark he estimated to be six to 10 feet long while swimming 10 yards off Kamaole.
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Postby sharkbait » Tue May 08, 2007 9:30 am

Shark bites swimmer in Maui waters
Her calf and foot are bitten in waters where an attack occurred in 2005
By Gary Kubota

gkubota@starbulletin.com
KIHEI, Maui »

For the fourth time in 2 1/2 years, a shark has attacked a person off South Maui beaches.

In the latest attack, a shark bit a female swimmer's foot yesterday in waters off a Kihei beach. She underwent an operation to treat multiple lacerations to her right foot.


In December 2005 a shark attacked a California visitor at the same beach, Keawakapu Beach. In February 2006 a shark bit a woman wading at Big Beach on the right leg. Last November, a shark attacked a Canadian swimmer in nearshore waters at Kamaole II Beach Park.

KIHEI, Maui » A shark bit a woman's foot yesterday in waters off a South Maui resort beach -- the same location where a man was attacked by a shark about a year and a half ago.

The California woman was snorkeling off Keawakapu Beach, north of the Wailea resort, when she was attacked just before 8:34 a.m. She was able to swim to shore.

She required an operation yesterday to treat multiple lacerations to her right foot, authorities said. She also suffered a bite to her left calf.

County and state officials closed about four miles of shoreline from Kalama Park to the Grand Wailea Resort.

County spokeswoman Mahina Martin said beaches might be closed today.

Randy Wolloschuk, a Canadian visitor, said that at one point he saw the woman swimming about 75 yards offshore. "She actually made it in on her own," Wolloschuk said. "I thought she stepped on a coral, then I saw her foot and thought, 'Holy smokes!'"

He said someone tied a tourniquet around her leg to stop the bleeding, and a woman came with a first-aid kit to help. Wolloschuk said when emergency medical technicians arrived, they poured water to flush the wound.

"She was lucid. She was clear," he said. "She was sitting and drinking a bottle of water. She was fine. She was talking."

County fire Capt. Mark Paranada said it was lucky that someone applied a tourniquet to her leg. Otherwise, she might have bled too much and gone into shock.

About an hour before the shark attack, county officials received a report of a shark bumping a surfboard off Kamaole II Beach Park, about a mile and a half from the attack. Officials shut down swimming at Kamaole II and had planned to reopen it until the attack occurred.

State aquatic biologist Skippy Hau said lifeguards on watercraft saw no sharks during their patrol after the attack.

Russell Sparks, a state aquatics education specialist, said he had not spoken to the victim and did not know what kind of shark attacked her.

There have been at least three shark attacks in South Maui in the past two years:


» In December 2005 a shark attacked California visitor Jonathan Genant at the same beach about 400 yards offshore. The shark severed Genant's pinkie finger, the top portion of his ring finger and the side of his palm. A 12-foot tiger shark was later seen in the vicinity.
» On Feb. 27, 2006, a woman wading at Oneloa Beach, also known as Big Beach, was bitten in the leg.

» On Nov. 11, 2006, a shark attacked a Canadian swimmer near shore at Kamaole II Beach Park.

Sparks said reported shark attacks in the state, including those that result in no injury, usually range from three to five a year.

"It's pretty insignificant when you think of all the thousands of people in the water in the state," he said.


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Postby sharkbait » Wed May 09, 2007 9:41 am

Swimmer Recalls Maui Shark Attack

Lifeguards Reopen Maui Beaches
Brooks Baehr - bbaehr@kgmb9.com


"I got to the beach, and I was just so grateful to have all my body parts."

That is how San Francisco resident Peller Marion described her emotions after surviving a shark attack off Keawakapu Beach on the Southwest side of Maui Monday morning. Marion spoke to the media while seated in a wheel chair at Maui Memorial Hospital Tuesday.

Marion, 63, is a psychologist and author. If she decides to write about her harrowing experience, it will be a frightening tale with a happy ending.

"It just was like that," Marion said while snapping her fingers. "It really frightened me. And I know I swallowed some water and stuff and then I just kind of pulled myself together and headed toward shore."

Marion's right foot and lower leg are wrapped in thick bandages to protect deep lacerations and bone fractures in her foot.

"It looked like a big shark to me. Somebody said 14 feet, I don't know," she told reporters.

Marion was snorkeling about 25 yards from shore in about 10 feet of water when the attack happened. She said the water was clear and underwater visibility was good.

"And all of a sudden I felt the strangest feeling. I felt something clench onto this foot and the first thing I saw was my new flippers from Maui Dive Shop, my new flipper popped off," Marion remarked. She knew almost instantly she had been bitten by a shark. Experts say it was most likely a tiger shark.

Marion swam toward shore leaving a trail of blood. Beach goers and then paramedics gave her first aid and she was hurried to the hospital.

"I'm really happy I got away with my life. I really am," she said.

The beach at Keawakapu was closed all day Monday, but lifeguards returned at 5 a.m. Tuesday to reassess the situation. They patrolled the water with jet skis and the Maui Fire Department flew over in a helicopter. They did not see any sharks so the beach was re-opened at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

"People were kind of excited to get back in to be honest with you. They wanted to get back in the water," said Captain Jeff Meadows, an officer with Maui Ocean Safety. "We had guys sneaking in here and there, so they're kind of excited to get back in. But you notice they're going to be pretty close to shore. They are not going to go too far out there."

Swimmers told KGMB9 they are cautious, but not overly concerned.

"It happens once in a great while," said Colorado resident Eva Pekkala. "You stay with a group. You don't go out too far and you're smart about it."

"Doesn't effect me really. I've been around the ocean all my life, so I've seen sharks in the water," added Oahu resident Brian Masumoto.

Now that Marion has seen a shark and felt its bite, she is not completely sure she will go swimming in the islands again. "But I probably will. I love the water," she said.

Doctors want to make sure Marion's cuts do not get infected and that blood clots do not develop. It is likely they will keep her in the hospital for another three to five days.


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Postby sharkbait » Wed May 09, 2007 10:44 pm

Marin author bitten by shark in Hawaii
Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

(05-09) 13:30 PDT MAUI, HAWAII -- Marin County psychologist and author Peller Marion enjoys swimming with the turtles in Hawaii, but she was surprised Monday when one began tugging on her foot.

It wasn't a turtle, and it wasn't tugging.

An 18-foot-long tiger shark had chomped down on her foot and was filleting the appendage with its razor sharp teeth like a meaty appetizer.

"I looked back and I thought it would be a turtle, but it was a huge shark," Marion said by phone today from her hospital bed in Maui. "I saw it from the side. It looked like a wall of gray. I instantly said, 'Holy (smokes), this isn't a turtle.' It's the kind of experience you just don't have words for."

Marion, who swims regularly with the Tiburon Peninsula Club, was in about 14 feet of water about 8:30 a.m. off of Keawakapu Beach in Kihei, Maui, when the shark attacked.

The 63-year-old author of "Career Tune Up" and "Searching For the G Spot" immediately pulled her foot away. Breathing through a snorkel and peering through goggles, she began swimming like mad with only one fin for the shore about 25 yards away, trying hard not to panic.

"I didn't hear the 'Jaws' music. I heard my heart pounding," Marion said.

"I've been in tight situations before in the ocean, with the current going one way and me going the other, but this was different," she said. "I try to keep my head, but yes, I was frightened. I wasn't Esther Williams at this point."

By the time Marion stumbled onto the sand, her foot was a bloody mess.

"You could look through my foot to the bone," she said. "This isn't a how-many-stitches-did-you-get kind of thing. There is a huge gash, tendons were slashed, joints were popped and there were marks on the bone like the teeth had scraped across."

She said she yelled, "Shark! Shark!" but the morning beachgoers didn't understand what she meant until they saw her bloody foot. An ambulance was called and someone yelled for a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

"I looked at one woman wanting her T-shirt and she shook her head and disappeared in the crowd," Marion said. "People brought out about six first-aid kits and we were rummaging through stuff and all we found were Band Aids."

The attack happened about an hour after a tiger shark bumped a surfer at nearby Kamaole Beach Park II, prompting officials to issue a shark alert and close a one-mile stretch of coastline.

Keawakapu is about a mile and a half from Kamaole Beach, so it was not closed. Marion said there were no warnings or she never would have entered the water.

After the attack, the closure was expanded to a four-mile stretch of South Maui beach. The area was reopened Tuesday after emergency workers surveyed the water by air and lifeguards said there had been no more shark sightings.

Marion underwent a two-hour operation at Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she is expected to remain four more days. She is facing long hours of rehabilitation. Doctors told her that if everything goes right, she may someday walk normally again.

Marion's last trip to Maui a year ago was also ruined when her husband had to be rushed to Honolulu for open heart surgery.

"All we are trying to do is take a vacation, but Mother Maui is spitting us out," she said.

Still, she said, she won't stay out of the water or away from Maui, where she plans to continue her vacation after she gets out of the hospital.

"I just feel fortunate that I'm alive. If it had followed me I wouldn't be alive today," she said. "It's nature. I'm just surprised it was me."

As for tips on what people should do, she said, "Just keep your first-aid kit filled."


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Postby sharkbait » Sun May 13, 2007 1:17 am

’I’m feeling great to be alive’

By CLAUDINE SAN NICOLAS, Staff Writer

WAILUKU – Compared to her husband’s brush with heart failure, Peller Marion described her Monday morning run-in with a shark off Kihei as a “piece of cake.”

The 63-year-old from San Francisco appeared in good spirits Tuesday at Maui Memorial Medical Center as she spoke of her shark encounter while recovering from bite wounds to her right foot and calf.

“I’m feeling great to be alive, let me tell you,” said Marion, a consulting psychologist and author who visits Maui two to three times a year.

She and her husband, Ron Tilden, also 63, arrived here May 1 and planned to stay through the end of the month, in part to celebrate his yearlong recovery from heart failure. The couple were vacationing on Maui last year when Tilden suffered from heart failure May 25, and had to be medevaced to Oahu.

Marion said she was aware of previous shark attacks off the shoreline in Kihei, but did not know there had been a report of a shark sighting off Kamaole Beach Park II just an hour before her own encounter.

Officials reported that a man’s surfboard was bumped by what appeared to be a tiger shark. The report triggered an alert to county lifeguards who warned people to stay out of the water. It is not known if the same animal was responsible in both incidents.

After Marion suffered her attack, a four-mile stretch of South Maui beaches from Kalama Park to Wailea Beach was closed. Officials reopened the beaches at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday after air surveillance of the waters in front of the beaches came up with no shark sightings.

Marion said she always swims when she visits Maui, and it never occurred to her that she could become a victim of a shark attack.

“Things like that never happen to me,” she said.

But it did.

Marion recalled the Tuesday morning air as “crisp” and the water as “clear and flat” as she set out to go snorkeling alone. She “hopped” into the water off Wailea Ekahi and headed north to Mana Kai. Marion was approximately 25 yards from the shore of Keawakapu in 10 to 14 feet of water when the shark grabbed her from behind.

“All of a sudden I felt the strangest feeling,” she said.

The first thing she saw was her new flipper pop off her foot. She turned around and saw a “wall” of gray and realized it was a shark swimming off in the opposite direction.

“I thought it was a turtle at first,” she said.

When she realized it was a shark, she said she began swimming toward the shore feeling she was paddling in a lopsided and clumsy fashion. Less than five minutes later, she was within earshot of beachgoers and began screaming, “Shark! Shark!”

“I got to the beach. I was just grateful to have all of my body parts.”

Bystanders were initially puzzled as Marion came in to shore, she said.

“They just looked at me like ’Is this a crazy lady?’ ”

Once they realized the seriousness of the situation, others on the beach flung

into action, scrambling for first-aid kits, calling authorities and telephoning her husband at a nearby condominium unit. Marion credited Kihei resident Amon Aquarian for encouraging her “to keep breathing and not go into shock.” He kept soothing her until medics arrived on the scene.

“He was helpful. He was kind. . . He got me through it,” Marion recalled.

She also expressed appreciation to the man who made a tourniquet to help stop the bleeding while she and those attending to her waited for medics. She said she got to the hospital in “split record time.”

“Queen Elizabeth couldn’t have gotten better,” she said.

In describing her injuries, Marion said she had a large gash on her calf and suffered from fractures in her foot.

The pain from the shark bite was excruciating. “It felt like a terrible toothache. It hurt,” Marion said.

She said the shark “really frightened” her but not enough to scare her away forever from the ocean and even Keawakapu Beach.

“It’s too soon to tell,” Marion said about when she would return to the water.

“I can’t stay away from it.”

Aside from swimming, Marion said she enjoys hiking, yoga and “cardio stuff.”

She said her experience inspired her to recommend beachgoers fill up their first-aid kits and stock up with materials for a tourniquet.

“Look at me. I thought what could be safer than snorkeling close to shore?”


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