POSTED: 5:23 p.m. HST, Jan 8, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 11:52 p.m. HST, Jan 8, 2014
A paddle surfer may have narrowly escaped being bitten by an 8 foot tiger shark -- mouth open -- approaching him in waters off Ukumehame on Maui this afternoon.
Department of Land and Natural Resources officers said 43-year old Matt Kinoshita, of Haiku, owner of Kazuma Surfboards, was paddle surfing about 75 yards off Ukumehame in 5 feet of water about 2 p.m. "when he saw the shark approaching him from the side with its mouth open."
Kinoshita, DLNR said in a press release, "turned his board toward the shark and ran over its back with the board."
Kinoshita said he last saw the shark heading in the direction of Kihei.
He reported the incident to lifeguards, DLNR said. Maui Ocean Safety sent out a lifeguard on a personal watercraft to monitor the waters, but there was no further sighting. A DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer and another lifeguard monitored from shore, warning divers and surfers. Monitoring continued for two hours after the sighting, DLNR said.
Water conditions were clear with one-foot waves. The beach was not closed and no warning signs were posted.