Maui visitor hospitalized after being bitten by shark
Apr 03, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A 58-year-old California man visiting Maui with his wife for a spring vacation was attacked by a shark Tuesday while surfing off Kaanapali.
At about 8:30 a.m. the visitor from Marina del Rey was surfing alone in clear water at a spot called Rainbows, about 100 yards offshore of Kaanapali Beach fronting the Maui Kai condominium resort, when the shark attacked, said Deborah Ward, spokeswoman for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
He suffered two deep lacerations on his right thigh, above the knee. Ward said the man didn't see the entire shark, but described its head as the size of a basketball. The species of the shark was not known.
An ambulance took the man to a hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.
C. Matt Yamamoto, acting Maui County branch chief of the state Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement, said the surfer paddled to shore, walked to the stairs of the Maui Kai and asked a female to call 911. Yamamoto said a male wrapped a cloth around the man's wound before paramedics arrived.
Maui Kai General Manager Chuck Massey said the 58-year-old man was responsive after the attack occurred. "He was alert, just in shock of course," he said.
After the attack, lifeguards on jet skis spotted a 6-foot-long shark in the area, Ward said. Officials closed the beach from Black Rock to Honokowai Beach Park and posted signs.
Ward and Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said surfers who were in the water at another surf break said they had seen a gray, 4-foot-long shark in the area of the attack. Antone said lifeguards believe the shark surfers saw was a reef shark.
Ocean safety officers, DLNR enforcement officers and aquatic biologists will continue to monitor the water until noon today and determine whether to reopen the beach.
Since June there have been eight shark attacks off Maui -- six injuring people and two damaging boards, according to the website hawaiisharks.com. Tuesday's incident was the second shark attack off Maui this year.