Shark Kills Man Fishing from Kayak Off Maui

DLNR – BEACH CLOSED AT MAKENA STATE PARK FOLLOWING FATAL SHARK BITE – Victim was kayak fishing off Little Beach

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and County lifeguards have closed waters off Makena State Recreation Area, following a fatal shark bite before 10:20 a.m. this morning in which a man was bit while fishing from a kayak half a mile off a point near Little Beach.

Makena State Recreation Area

Makena State Recreation Area

A companion, also on a kayak, said the man was fishing with artificial lures to attract baitfish when his dangling foot was bit by a shark.

His fishing partner was about 500 yards away when the incident occurred, then paddled over, tied a tourniquet and asked a nearby charter tour boat for assistance. The boat brought the injured man to Kihei boat ramp from where he was transported to the hospital.

Shark warning signs are being posted to advise the public to remain out of the water from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing.

The beaches are open but the public is advised to stay out of the water.

DLNR staff and County lifeguards will continue to monitor the nearshore waters today and in the morning will reassess the area. If no sharks are seen, the area will reopen at noon tomorrow, following state shark incident protocol.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the 13th reported shark incident statewide this year, and the 8th on Maui. Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year (see http://www.hawaiisharks.org/incidentyear.html), but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in1998, and just one in 2008. In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented.

“We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “It is our hope and expectation that numbers of incidents will return to a more normal range in the near future.”

Aila continued, “We offer our condolences to the family of the victim. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

UPDATE: Police say 57-year-old Patrick Briney of Stevenson, Washington died Monday while fishing from a kayak off Maui’s southwest coast. State Department of Land and Natural Resources says the shark bit his dangling foot.

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