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Shark bites surfer on the arm off Kohala Coast on Hawaii island

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:27 p.m. HST, Jan 16, 2013

Kiholo Bay park and beach will remain closed until noon Thursday after a 15-foot tiger shark bit a surfer on the arm Wednesday afternoon off the Kohala Coast on Hawaii island.

Hawaii County firefighters and the Department of Land and Natural Resources personnel will assess the area Thursday morning for any shark sightings, DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward said.

A 43-year-old man was surfing on the north end of Kiholo Bay when he was bitten on the forearm, said acting Fire Capt. Brian Cushnie of the South Kohala fire station.

He had a cut to his leg, although it was difficult to tell whether this was related to the shark attack, Cushnie said.

DLNR officials said it was a 15-foot tiger shark, according to fire dispatch information.

Cushnie said a bystander said a tiger shark bit the man, but there was no confirmation of the kind of shark it was.

Fire personnel responded to the 5:10 p.m. call.

DLNR said a worker at a private home on the north side of the bay called 911.

The man remained conscious, and was taken by ambulance to the North Hawaii Community Hospital. His condition was not available.

DLNR personnel contacted the Kiholo Community Association, which posted shark warning signs at the entrance to Kiholo Bay State Park Reserve after the attack, Ward said.

The park is located between Kailua-Kona and Kohala between mile markers 82 and 83.

No aerial search was performed Wednesday because maintenance was being performed on the fire helicopter, Cushnie said.

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