A 65-year-old Kihei woman died Wednesday after she was apparently bitten by a shark while snorkeling off Makena State Park in Maui.
The Maui Fire Department said the woman was pulled from the water unresponsive shortly before 9 a.m. about a mile south of Big Beach, at a popular surf spot known as “Dumps” in the Kanahena Cove area of Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve.
The woman died despite lifesaving efforts by firefighters and paramedics, according to a news release issued by the fire department.
She had been snorkeling with two friends, but was alone at the time she was injured. The fire department said the woman had injuries to her upper torso that suggested she was injured by a shark. So far, there are no reported witnesses of the apparent shark attack.
Snorkelers came upon the woman floating face down in the water about 200 yards off-shore and pulled her from the water, the fire department said.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed Makena State Park and ocean waters from Big Beach to La Perouse lighthouse in South Maui to swimmers, divers, and other ocean users.
The area will be closed at least until noon Thursday, at which time officials on the scene will assess the area for reopening.
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers, Division of Aquatic Resources staff, and County lifeguards are on scene to investigate and warn the public. Shark warning signs are being posted.
The incident marks the third fatal shark attack in waters off Makena in less than two years.
>> On Aug. 14, 2013, a shark bit 20-year-old visitor Jana Lutteropp, off Keawakapu Beach, severing her right arm. She died from her injuries a week later.
>> On Dec. 2, 2013, Patrick A. Briney, 57, of Stevenson, Wash., was kayak fishing off Makena Landing with a friends when he was bitten on the right leg. He died from severe bleeding.