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Shark attacks swimmer off Keawakapu Beach in Maui


Shark Attacks

San Diego man attacked by shark off Maui

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 22 December, 2005 : - - A 29-year-old San Diego man was attacked by a shark Wednesday while swimming in waters off West Maui. The man was alone when a shark bit his left hand about 200 yards off Keawakapu Beach. He was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was in stable condition. Hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said the swimmer lost a little finger and part of his ring finger.

The attack, which occurred at about 11:45 a.m., Fire Battalion Chief Alan Pascua said a fire helicopter spotted a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark in the area immediately following the attack. Pascua said the water was a little murky following recent rains on Maui.

It was the first shark attack in Hawaii resulting in injury since Oct. 9, 2004, when Davy Sanada was bitten while spearfishing off Molokai. Sanada, 35, suffered injuries to his face and left shoulder from what he described as an 8-foot tiger shark. On April 7, 2004, surfer Willis McInnis, 57, was killed by a tiger shark in murky water off Kahana on Maui.

There were four confirmed reports, including three off Maui, this year of sharks biting surfboards and a kayak, but no one was injured, according to the state Shark Task Force.Task force spokesman Randy Honebrink said records show that most shark attacks occur in November and December, though it's unclear why.

Sharks regularly swim around all islands, he said, and there's no specific area or beach where they would be more likely to be found. However, Honebrink noted that studies have shown sharks are attracted to the rich shallow waters of the Penguin Bank between Oahu and Molokai. "In places where there's more fish you expect to find more sharks," he said. "That's an area that's familiar to sharks."

Hawaii is home to numerous species of shark, but Honebrink said tiger sharks are usually responsible for attacks.

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