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Shark attack closes Big Isle beach

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 4:20 p.m. HST, Dec 11, 2013

A 29-year-old Captain Cook man reported being bitten by a 10- to 12-foot Tiger shark this morning off Naalehu on the Big Island.

Hawaii County police said the victim's injuries were non-life threatening, They closed Ninole Bay until noon Thursday.

The victim was bodyboarding at 8 a.m. with two friends in the area of Ninole Bay, just south of Punaluu Beach Park, and was 20 yards off shore in eight feet of water when the shark attack occurred.

His friends said it was a Tiger shark. 

Police interviewed the bodyboarder at Kau Hospital, where he was expected to be released later today. 

In August, a 16-year-old Kalapana bodyboarding at "Dead Trees" at Pohiki on Hawaii Island was attacked by a 10-foot grey shark. The teenager sustained multiple cuts and puncture wounds to his legs. 

Jimmy Ulualoha "Ulu Boy" Napeahi was bitten 13 times, suffered 30 wounds and received more than 180 stitches in the Aug. 18 attack.

The shark was never located.

In January, Steve Macreshe, 43, was surfing with Paul Santos at Kiholo Bay on the west shore of Hawaii Island when he was bitten on the hand and leg by a shark.

However, Maui has registered the largest number of shark attacks this year, including two that were fatal.

The most recent was on Dec. 2 when Washington visitor Patrick Briney died after being attacked while kayak-fishing. Briney, 57, and a friend were fishing from Makena Landing toward Big Beach at about 9 a.m. when his dangling right foot was bitten. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed beaches from Makena Landing to the surf area known as "Dumps" for two days.

The attack on Briney was the eighth off Maui this year, which state officials called alarming. 

The victim of Maui's other fatal attack this year was 20-year-old visitor Jana Lutterrop, who was bitten and lost her right arm. She died of her injuries a week after the Aug. 14 attack.

On Nov. 29, a Paia woman was bitten while snorkeling of South Maui. She was about 30 yards offshore when she was bitten and left with a cut on her shin and a 6-inch-long wound on her calf.

Other shark attacks on Maui in 2013 include an attack upon a surfer at Paia Bay on Feb. 21, another surfer at Honokowai on Feb. 21, a snorkeler at Ulua Beach on July 31, a swimmer at Waiehu on Oct. 23 and a kite-surfer at Kanaha on Oct. 31.

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