Lifeguards close Maui beaches because of circling hammerheads
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Lifeguards close Maui beaches because of circling hammerheads

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / OCT. 19, 2009

    A sign warning of a shark sighting folowing an incident involving a surfer at Kalama Bowls on Maui in 2009. (Photo by Wendy Osher.)

Lifeguards closed several beaches in south Maui after several hammerhead sharks were seen at Kamaole Beach Park I in Kihei.

There have been three shark attacks on Maui in the last two months, and seven attacks since January. Two of the recent attacks happened in waters off Kihei.

Stand-up paddle boarders said they were saw five hammerhead sharks about six feet in length circle their boards and then swim off Wednesday morning, according to the Maui County Department of Fire & Public Safety.

The incident took place in waters about 10 feet deep.

Lifeguards closed the beach and ocean of swimmers at 10:50 a.m. in waters off Kamaole Beach I, II, and III and at Cove Park.

Shark warning signs were posted along the beaches for two hours, while lifeguards patrolled the waters.

The beaches were reopened at 12:50 a.m. after no additional sharks were sighted.

On Nov. 14, a shark attacked a 58-year-old Maui resident Barbara Zawacki about 30-yards off Kamaole Beach Park 1. She suffered a bite on her right let.

On Oct. 14, a shark bit a 66-year-old Washington state woman, a part-time Kihei resident, who was snokeling in waters about seven feet deep, 40 feet offshore of Charley Young Beach in Kihei. She suffered injuries to her lower leg.

Another attack last month happened to a surfer off Paia in north Maui. Federico Jaime was bitten on his left arm and leg about 50 yards offshore at a break known as “H-Poko” on Oct. 21.

According to the state’s website on shark incidents in Hawaii waters, there were four other shark attack on Maui this year.

>> Aug. 6 — A stand-up paddler was paddling about one mile off of Hamakuapoko Beach in Paia when a tiger shark, estimated at 10 feet long, bit the hydrofoil of the paddleboard. There was no report of injury.

>> May 3 — A swimmer was floating in the water about 40 yards from the shore at Wailea Beach when a shark attacked the swimmer. The swimmer suffered minor lacerations to the right shoulder. The length and species of the shark was unknown.

>> March 3 — A snorkeler was about 450 yards off of Olowalu Beach when an eight-foot tiger attacked her. The snorkeler suffered minor lacerations to her left foot.

>> Jan. 23 — A stand-up paddler was about 150 to 200 yards off of Wailea Beach when a 10-to-12 foot tiger shark bit the tail of the board. The paddler was uninjured.

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