Maui Shark Attacks on the Rise

A two mile stretch of beach in Maui was closed after a 36-year-old surfer was attacked by a shark Friday afternoon.

The attack, which left minor injuries to the man’s arm and leg, was the sixth shark attack in Maui this year and the second in less than a week, according to the Maui News.

A 66-year-old woman was bitten in the lower leg while snorkeling in water roughly seven feet deep, according to the Star Advertiser. Both incidents underscore that shark are more likely to attack in October, based on a database of shark attacks in Hawaii by state officials.

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“We recommend ocean users exercise a little more caution this month especially, and also through the end of the year,” DAR Administrator Bruce Anderson told Maui Now. “The chance of being bitten by a shark in Hawaiian waters is always extremely small, but does increase a bit during this time frame.”

In the past 35 years up until 2015 there have been 122 unprovoked shark attacks with 21 percent of occurring in October, based on the records at Hawi’i Sharks.

In the most recent incident at Hookipa Beach Park, Federico Jaime, an Argentinian who’s lived in Maui for seven years, told Surfline said he didn’t even realize his leg was bitten until he got to shore and saw the bleeding. Once you see the gruesome footage here as they apply a tourniquet to the wound, you’ll understand why that is such a shock.

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Jaime said he got bit first in the arm as he started paddling back into the lineup. Another surfer said it looked like he was wrestling with the shark for almost five seconds, as he hit and kicked it with his board.

“I wasn’t sure if it’d go away,” Fede told Surfline. “I started screaming, “Help, Shark!” There were like 40 people in the lineup, and they’re all heroes. They came close to me and made a shield, and then helped me get to shore.They’re brave. With so much blood, I thought that the thing was gonna come back and get me or somebody else.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia