Maui shark attacks are sometimes fatal and unfortunately, this was the case on Monday. A kayak fisherman was killed around 9 a.m. Monday after a shark attacked the man's foot. According to a Dec. 2 report from Maui News, officials shut down the shoreline from the “Dumps” surf spot in La Perouse to Mākena Landing immediately following the deadly Maui shark attack.
The Huffington Post reports that the shark attack victim was possibly a tourist. Reportedly, at the time of the shark attack, the man was dangling his foot while fishing with a friend. Officials believe this triggered the shark to suddenly attack and bite off one or possibly both of his feet.
Although the man's friend tied a tourniquet around his leg and was able to get him to a nearby snorkeling boat, the man died from his wounds before he reached the shore.
Shortly after the fatal Maui shark attack, county officials released the following statement: “Maui County Ocean Safety officers received a report around 10:20 a.m. that said the male victim was fishing in his kayak somewhere between Maui and Molokini when he was bitten by a shark.”
Maui police identified the victim as 57-year-old Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Washington.
The site of the Maui shark attack was an area between Maui and Molokini, a small island located approximately 3 miles off the southwest coast of Maui.
Details of the kind of shark involved in the Maui attack were not immediately available.
Although the Maui shark attack occurred a lengthy distance away from shore, officials warned the public to stay out of the water a mile north and a mile south of Makena State Recreation Area in southwest Maui.
The recent Maui shark attack comes just three days after a shark bit a woman in South Maui at Keawekapu Beach. The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in that attack and she is expected to make a full recovery.
According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, over the past two decades, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark attacks per year, but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in 1998, 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."
The list below is composed of the confirmed Maui shark attacks this year. Via Maui News:
October 31, 2013, at Ka’a Point in Central Maui: A kite surfer suffered injuries to his right leg and calf in an apparent shark attack incident about 300 yards offshore.
October 23, 2013, off of Kukona Place in Waiehu: Shane Mills of Maui suffered a laceration to his lower back and left thigh in an apparent shark bite incident.
August 14, 2013, at Palauea Beach, also known as White Rock in Mākena: Jana Lutteropp, a 20-year-old German woman had her arm severed in a shark attack incident and died a week later on Wednesday, Aug. 21.
July 31, 2013, at Ulua Beach in Wailea: Evonne Cashman of California suffered puncture wounds to both surfaces of right side of torso and lacerations to right hand while swimming approximately 125 yards from shore.
February 21, 2013, at Kā’anapali, Honokōwai: A surfer reportedly suffered lacerations to their right leg after an encounter with a reef shark approx 100 yards from shore in six feet of water, according to state data.
February 21, 2013, at Pāʻia Bay: A reef shark reportedly bit the rail of a foam surfboard while J. Lansky was surfing approximately 75 yards from shore in 5 to 8 feet of water, according to the state data.
The last Maui shark attack to result in a fatality prior to the incident that occurred on Aug. 14 was in 2004.