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Victim of Maui shark attack is identified as Washington man

    Maui lifeguards closed beaches and patroled the waters off Makena after a kayak fisherman was fatally bitten by a shark this morning. (Courtesy / Wendy Osher)

Maui County police identified a kayak fisherman killed in a shark attack Monday morning as Patrick A. Briney, 57, from Stevenson, Wash.

Police said Briney was fishing with a friend from Makena Landing towards Big Beach at about 9 a.m., when Briney began to scream.

Briney was fishing with artificial lures to attract baitfish when his dangling right foot was bitten by a shark, according to a Department of Land and Natural Resources news release.

Briney’s friend, who was about 500 yards away, paddled over, tied a tourniquet and asked a nearby charter tour boat for help.  The boat brought the injured man to Kihei boat ramp, but he died upon reaching shore, officials said.

Following the shark attack, Maui County lifeguards and officials from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed beaches from Makena Landing to the surf area known as "Dumps" until noon Tuesday.

Warning signs were posted to advise the public to remain out of the water from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing.  

This is the eighth shark attack off Maui this year. On Friday, a Paia woman was bitten while snorkeling in South Maui.

The woman was snorkeling about 30 yards offshore when she was bitten by the shark, leaving her with a cut on her shin and a 6-inch-long wound on her calf.

The attack at Keawakapu Beach was about three miles north of White Rock, where 20-year-old visitor Jana Lutterrop was bitten by a shark Aug. 14. She lost her right arm in the attack and died a week later of her injuries.

The other two shark incidents at Keawakapu included an attack on a swimmer who was bitten on the calf about 30 yards from shore in about 25 feet of water on Oct. 29, 2007, and a swimmer who lost the top part of a ring finger and all of the small finger on the left hand while about 200 to 400 yards from shore in 30 feet of water on Dec. 21, 2005.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the 13th reported shark incident statewide this year, and the 8th on Maui. Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year, but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in1998, and just one in 2008. In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented.

"We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That’s why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairman in a news release. "It is our hope and expectation that numbers of incidents will return to a more normal range in the near future."

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