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Search ends for missing snorkeler off Maui

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The search for a missing snorkeler in the water near Kihei in a possible shark encounter has been called off, state Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said Friday afternoon.

On Thursday just before noon, a 60-year-old Washington state woman was snorkeling in the water with her husband, who told authorities that he saw a shark swim by them while they were in the water. He lost sight of her and swam back to shore, where he reported that his wife was missing.

The man and other witnesses reported seeing a large shark, possibly a tiger shark, about 50 yards from shore at Keawakapu Point in south Maui, officials said.

The Maui Fire Department, Maui Ocean Safety, and the DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement began looking for the missing snorkeler via personal watercraft, rescue boat and a helicopter. The U.S. Coast Guard also assisted via air.

First responders continued their search until Thursday evening and resumed the search Friday morning before it was called off around noon.

Following a subsequent survey of the area, shark warning signs were removed.

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