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Shark bites man off Kona Coast

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. HST, Jun 18, 2013

A Kailua-Kona man was bitten shortly before 1 p.m. today apparently by a tiger shark in waters off a Kona Coast beach, Hawaii County police said.

The 28-year-old man was swimming about 100 feet offshore when he spotted a shark in waters off Kekaha Kai State Park, also known as Kona Coast State Park, police said.

The shark bit him on the right thigh and right calf and then released him, police said.

The swimmer made it to shore, where a Fire Department helicopter took him to Kona Community Hospital with injuries that were not believed to be life threatening, police said.

Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward said a 14-foot tiger shark remained in the area after the shark attack.

DLNR is closing the Mahaiula section of Kekaha Kai State Park, which is the southernmost section of the park.

DLNR enforcement personnel are notifying beach goers of the attack.

Hawaii County Fire Department was on scene at about 1:40 p.m. to respond to the victim.

Fire personnel will fly over the area later this afternoon to see whether the shark is still around and DLNR will do a reassessment, Ward said.

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