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05/25/2019 - Thomas Smiley - Hawaii - ***Fatal***

Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:03 pm
by alb
Man killed by shark was beloved grandfather with 'sense of adventure,' wife says
By EMILY SHAPIRO May 28, 2019, 12:29 PM ET
Courtesy Smiley Family
WATCHFriend remembers shark attack victim as 'bigger than life'
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A loving husband, father and grandfather killed in a shark attack in Hawaii this weekend had a "sense of adventure" that "always pushed him to try new things," his wife said.

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Thomas Smiley, 65, of Granite Bay, California, was killed on Saturday, according to the Maui Police Department. He had been swimming about 60 yards from the shore, according to Maui Fire and Public Safety.

Smiley, an optometrist who retired last year, is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren, his wife, Gale Smiley, told ABC News on Tuesday.

(MORE: Man killed in shark attack off Hawaii coast)
The two were high school sweethearts and married for 42 years, she said.

PHOTO: Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured in an undated family photo. Courtesy Smiley Family
Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured in an undated family photo.
They had been vacationing in Hawaii for 14 years, she said. On Saturday "he just went out for a quick swim."

“”I must have probably hollered down in horror.
"I walked out and people were pointing out in the water in this area where there's usually a lot of turtles there, there's a lot of snorkeling going on," she said. "I looked out and I thought, well, he was an amazing swimmer, he was a swimmer in school, snorkeler, water skier. He's been in water sports his whole life. I thought, that can't be him. So I watched for awhile, and the police rescue unit wave runner started over in our area."

(MORE: How to stay safe from shark attacks this summer)
"When they pulled him up on the shore I saw the swimsuit he was wearing and recognized that was him," Gale Smiley said. "I must have probably hollered down in horror and got down there and they had him in the ambulance...I saw his face...I was pretty much in shock."

PHOTO: Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured in an undated family photo. Courtesy Smiley Family
Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured in an undated family photo.
Gale Smiley said officials later told her they'd been monitoring a tiger shark in that area. However, she hadn't seen any signs outside her condo, and said her husband wouldn't have gone in the water if there were shark warnings posted.

"I'm not blaming anybody," she said. "I think there may have been a different outcome if it had been posted that they knew it [the shark] was there."

Officials with Maui Police and the Department of Land and Natural Resources could not immediately be reached for comment.

Gale Smiley called her husband an "incredible man" who "should not have been taken."

PHOTO: Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured with his family in an undated handout photo. Courtesy Smiley Family
Shark attack victim Thomas Smiley is pictured with his family in an undated handout photo.
“”The family is taking it really hard because they absolutely adored him. And he lived for his family.
(MORE: Shark attacks: What are the most dangerous places in America? Here's your guide.)
"His spirit and his sense of adventure always pushed him to try new things. His attitude toward life was never be afraid of trying new things or putting yourself out there," she said. "And that's what he taught me."

Days after the tragedy, Smiley said she's overwhelmed by the "tremendous outpouring" of support from his friends. She said her "humble" husband "would be shocked at the people's lives that he has touched."

"Everyone said that he was absolutely the best man that they had ever met," she said. "He was rock solid for everyone, they could count on him for anything."

"He was highly intelligent, the most wonderful family man...loved his kids, loved his grandchildren," she said. "The family is taking it really hard because they absolutely adored him. And he lived for his family."

Re: 05/25/2019 - Thomas Smiley - Hawaii - ***Fatal***

Posted: Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:00 pm
by alb
Thomas Smiley Hawaii Shark Attack Fatal.jpg