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Snorkeler bitten by shark off Maui

A snorkeler experienced a close call with a shark today in West Maui.

The 46-year-old woman was snorkeling in murky water late this morning with a group about a half-mile off Olowalu, when she felt a tug on her fin and looked back to see a gray-colored shark swimming away, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“She was treated on the boat for a minor injury to her foot,” department spokeswoman Deborah Ward said.

The Teralani 2 tour company said an on-board employee saw an eight-foot tiger shark swimming away.

State officials posted shark warning signs from Lone Pine to the Olowalu Recycling Center.

The signs are expected to remain up until noon Friday, when officials will reassess the situation.

Ocean safety officials were on a jet ski warning warning ocean users about the shark.

Olowalu is a popular snorkeling area because of its pristine reefs and abundance of turtles.

The Olowalu area is also the only place in the state that has permanent shark warning signs posted, after quite a few shark attacks, including one that killed Maui resident Marti Morrell in 1991.

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  • “…snorkeling in murky water…” There ya go. Seems that’s a key phrase in describing conditions of most shark attacks. Is it not enjoyable, or cool, to find a clean and clear area to snorkel?

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