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Kona Coast beach reopens after shark attack

  • James Kerrigan, a 28-year-old Kailua Kona man, was brought ashore at Kekaha Kai State Park on the Big Island after being bitten by a shark.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources reopened Big Island’s Kekaha Kai State Park after an aerial survey Thursday morning did not sight any sharks in waters off the park. 

The park, located 2.6 miles north of Keahole airport in Kailua-Kona, was closed Tuesday after a tiger shark bit Kailua-Kona resident James Kerrigan, a Transportation Security Administration employee, on the leg in Mahaiula Bay. Kerrigan was swimming with his fiancee and six friends.

Several reef sharks were spotted in the area Wednesday by the Hawaii County department helicopter.

Kerrigan, 28, said he never saw a shark that bit him, and it wasn’t until he saw his own blood in the water that he realized what had happened.

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