State and county officials have closed down beaches between the Old Suda Store to Kalama Park in South Maui after a shark encounter — the third since Saturday on the Valley Isle.
No one was injured in the incident, but a shark bit a female stand-up paddleboarder’s board in waters off the Maui Sunset in Kihei near 10 a.m., authorities said.
The woman was about 200 yards off Waipuilani Beach Park in five to six feet of water when a tiger shark bit the tail of the board and knocked her off the paddleboard, according to the woman’s friend, who was nearby and on a paddleboard.
The friend said she saw the shark’s dorsal fin and its head, which she said was about two feet wide.
On Saturday, a shark bit a surfer’s board about 100 yards off Maalaea. And on Monday, a shark bit a paddle boarder’s board in Kahului Harbor.
Ocean waters have been murky following heavy rains from Hurricane Ana. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources advises beachgoers to stay out of murky waters, which can contain dead animals and other storm runoff that can attract predators.
In a news release issued Wednesday, DLNR Chair William Aila said, "We are fortunate that no one was hurt in any of these encounters." He added, "They should serve as a reminder to stay out of areas that continue to experience runoff and murky water."