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Maui beach reopens following aggressive shark scare

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:53 a.m. HST, Dec 6, 2013

The two-mile stretch of Maui's Makena State Beach Park reopened Thursday at sunrise after being closed Wednesday when two spear fishermen said a large shark had chased them out of the water.

The nearshore waters were closed by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources at noon Wednesday from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing, a mile in either direction from the location of the shark encounter.

The initial report made by the divers to lifeguards at the beach park was that an 8- to 10-foot Galapagos shark made several passes at them while they were spearfishing close to shore off Black Sand beach at Makena. They tried to fend it off with their spears but the shark kept coming, so they let it take their catch of speared fish and headed back to shore at Little Beach.

Wednesday's closure follows a shark attack Monday that killed Washington state visitor Patrick A. Briney, who was kayak-fishing in waters a half-mile off Little Beach in Makena.

That incident marked the second fatal attack, and the eighth shark incident so far this year, in waters off Maui. German visitor Jana Lutteropp, 20, suffered fatal injuries Aug. 14 at White Rock.

There have been 13 shark attacks in Hawaii this year.

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