A 57-year-old woman who was part of an ocean excursion tour group this morning was bitten by a shark near the Kukio Golf and Beach Club in Kona on Hawaii island, state and county officials said.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the tour headed out at about 8:50 a.m. today, with a group of 17, including eight on stand-up paddle boards, six in canoes, and two swimming in the ocean.
While the group was out, a jet ski operator informed everyone that a 10-foot tiger shark was in the area, and one of the two women swimming apparently encountered a shark about 200 feet offshore.
The Hawaii County Fire Department responded to the shark attack at about 9 a.m., and found the 57-year-old woman with a 2-inch puncture wound on her left knee.
She was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea in stable condition.
According to the fire department report, the woman was part of a 6-person canoe that went out with the tour group. She was swimming about 200 to 300 feet from shore when a shark attacked her from behind.
She was able to get back into a canoe with the rest of her party and return to shore, where first aid was rendered.
At 10 a.m., the department sent an alert of a shark attack at Kukio Bay in the North Kona District, notifying the public of its closure.
DLNR said emergency personnel and state officials responded to the incident, and posted shark warning signs for a mile in either direction from the incident.
The beach will remain closed today, along with all public shoreline access at Kekaha Kai State Park. This includes Kukio and Kua bays, as well as the Four Seasons and Hualalai resorts.
The Kukio Golf and Beach Club describes itself online as “a private, residential equity club” next door to the Four Seasons Hotel on the Kona coast, with membership exclusive to residents. In addition to a full-service clubhouse, spa and fitness facility, there is an “outdoor pursuits” program offering members canoe paddling, sailing and surfing activities.
According to state protocol following an incident, shark warning signs are posted until at least noon on Wednesday.
Hawaii County Fire Department said it would conduct an aerial survey Wednesday morning to determine if the beaches should reopen.