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Paddle-boarder fights off 8-foot shark off Central Maui

By Star-Advertiser staff

& Wendy Osher/mauinow.com

LAST UPDATED: 2:44 p.m. HST, Oct 18, 2012

A portion of the beach in central Maui near Kahului Harbor was closed this morning after an 8-foot shark bit the paddleboard of a stand-up paddler.

Dave Peterson, owner of Maui Dawn Patrol, said he was surfing 300 yards off shore at a surf break known as “Boneyard” at Kanaha Beach Park when a gray shark knocked him into the water.

“I was standing on my board waiting for wave,” said Peterson who shapes surfboards and paddleboards.” “The water was clear. There was no wind.

“Something came up and knocked me off my board. I fell into the water and landed on the back of the shark. It was biting my board, so I hit it on the head with my paddle and it let it go and swam away.”

Peterson escaped without any injuries.

However, his paddleboard had bite marks that was 9 to 10 inches wide.

He said the shark was 6 to 8 feet long, gray and probably a reef shark.

Rod Antone, Maui County spokesman, said the stretch of beach from the mouth of Kahului Harbor to Kahului side of Sprecklesville was closed after the shark attack was reported at 7:30 a.m.

Shark warning signs were posted on the beach.

Ocean safety officials will re-evaluate the situation on Friday and determine when the beach will re-open.

There were no other shark sightings at Kahana Beach on Thursday.

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