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Shark bites man, 58, in waters off Hapuna Beach


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A 58-year-old Kansas man scared away a shark that bit him by punching it Wednesday in waters off Hapuna Beach Park on Hawaii island, a state land department spokeswoman said.

The man, of Overland Park, was snorkeling with family at the beach when a shark bit him on the arm about 11:45 a.m., police said.

He was assisted to shore and taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital where he was treated for severe lacerations to his left forearm and injuries to his left thigh, police said.

Deborah Ward, Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman, said the man was in about four feet of water at an area called “Jumping Rocks” when he was bitten.

“He punched the shark, causing it to retreat,” she said. “We closed the state park, and our officers and park personnel are on scene.”

Hawaii County Fire Department officials saw a shark from a helicopter, and authorities closed all beaches between Beach 69 and Kaunaoa.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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