A woman visiting the Hawaiian islands from Germany is recovering after being viciously attacked by a shark on Wednesday (Aug. 14) in what is the latest in a series of such attacks in recent months off the islands.
KGMB-TV reported the unidentified woman in her 20s was attacked while she was snorkeling at around 4:40 p.m. local time, off Palauea Beach, also known as White Rock, in Maui County.
Maui County officials said that the woman's right arm was ripped off in the attack.
"All she had hanging out on her right arm was her bone, and she was in and out of saying these words, 'I'm dying, I'm going to die.' I kept saying 'No you're not, you're not, I'm going to get you to shore, I'm going to save you,'" California tourist Rick Moore told KITV-TV, after he swam out to help the victim.
She was transported to the emergency room at Maui Memorial Medical Center in critical condition.
Ocean Safety officials said this was the seventh shark attack in Hawaiian waters so far this year, and the fourth off Maui, according to KGMB-TV. The most recent attack on the Valley Isle happened on July 31st, when another woman was bitten as she was snorkeling off Maui's Ulua Beach.
Shark attacks are fairly common off the Hawaiian islands. There were 11 shark attacks off the Hawaiian beaches in 2012.
Hawaii, California and Florida are the states with the highest annual number of shark attacks and all have reported shark attacks so far this year.
Shark habitats vary, but most shark species live on the continental shelf and in tropical reefs. These areas correlate to the areas with the most shark attacks.