comscore Search for snorkeler underway after possible shark encounter off Maui
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Search for snorkeler underway after possible shark encounter off Maui

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Authorities on Maui were searching for a missing woman after a reported “possible shark/human encounter” today in waters off Kihei, state officials said.

Officials said the woman’s husband was snorkeling off of Keawakapu Point when he noticed a shark swim by repeatedly before noon. After looking for his wife, who was also snorkeling, the man returned to shore and called 911, according to Dan Dennison, senior communications manager for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

During a press briefing late this afternoon, Dennison said an air and water search would continue until nightfall. Crews are expected to resume the search again Friday morning. The search involves personnel with the Maui Fire Department and Ocean Safety Division. Also, the U.S. Coast Guard, which sent a C130 Hercules plane and a helicopter from Barbers Point to assist with the search, according to Coast Guard public affairs specialist Ryan Fisher.

The last recorded shark attack in Kihei occurred in February 2020 when an estimated 10-foot tiger shark bit the tail of a stand-up paddleboard, without injuring the paddler, in 40 feet of clear water, according to a DLNR database.

The most recent recorded attack in Maui’s waters occurred Sept. 3 when an unknown species of shark bit a snorkeler in the turbid water of Paia Bay. The woman lost her left arm and two right fingers and sustained puncture wounds to her torso.

This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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