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Shark attack closes Big Isle beach

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 04:20 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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Oahuan wrote:
YIKES!! 2 foot tiger shark!!!
on December 11,2013 | 11:46AM
wave1 wrote:
You mean 12 foot?
on December 11,2013 | 02:38PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
The Fukushima radiation fallout is killing the food chain.
on December 11,2013 | 02:40PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
We need to go back to fishing for large tiger sharks. They are vicious man eaters with no natural enemy except for man. When I was a surfer kid in the 60s and 70s, there was no problem with shark attacks when we went surfing, except for Kewalo Basin where the Coral Tuna factory used to dump aku guts in the water after processing the Aku for canning. There were no sharks because in the late 50s, several body surfers, most notably Billy Weaver, son of one of the Spencecliff restaurant owners, were eaten alive by sharks. Billy's death sparked a large tiger shark reduction program on a tremendous scale, which was very effective. Then, the public lost interest until a doctor's wife was eaten alive off Maui. Then a shark attack task force was created and recommended that a limited scale shark reduction program be initiated. Such a program began until Charlie Maxwell the other radical Hawaiians complained that their aumakua were being desecrated. Now with unprecedented tiger attacks occuring, we need to go back to thinning out tiger sharks.
on December 11,2013 | 03:35PM
bumba wrote:
Agree 100%.
on December 11,2013 | 05:14PM
Yessah wrote:
Very true of the 60s and 70s. It was way safer in the waves back then.
on December 11,2013 | 07:35PM
BrianW wrote:
Bring back Shark Fin Soup.......shark-meat kamaboko!
on December 11,2013 | 04:12PM
808surfmom wrote:
I keep hearing 10 to 12 foot tiger shark..is it possible that it is the same shark?
on December 12,2013 | 03:01PM
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