Beach closed after shark bites visitor in Maui waters

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A beach in Kaanapali is closed after a shark attack Tuesday morning. It’s the first one reported on Maui this year.

Witnesses believe a four-foot reef shark bit a surfer, leaving him with two deep wounds.

At 8:30 a.m., 50 yards offshore in Kaanapali, surfers saw a gray figure in the water.

“The shadow was still kind of hanging around and then it left, and then a few minutes later I heard a kerplunk, a big splash,” witness David Tuzinowski said.

In front of 110 Kaanapali Shores Place, a shark attacked a long boarder.

“Other surfers in the area said they saw a four-foot gray shark that they believe was the same shark that bit the victim. Our lifeguards believe that this is a reef shark,” Maui County Communication Director Rod Antone said.

Fire crews say the shark tried to take a bite out of a 58-year-old California man.

“The surfer described the shark as having a head the size of a basketball,” Antone said.

They described the victim’s wound as a six-inch bite outline of the shark’s mouth.

“The bite took place above the knee on the right thigh. The victim suffered two deep lacerations,” Antone said.

“He kind of freaked out and then I saw him get on the board and double time towards shore,” Tuzinowski said. “You see these reef sharks when you’re out surfing and what not. So honestly, it didn’t scare me too much.”

The victim was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he is being treated.

There’s been no sign of the shark since then.

The beach will remain closed until noon Wednesday.


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