Sharks in Waimea Bay?


Ocean safety experts are calling it a rare occurrence.

Normally a popular beach with no sharks now has had multiple shark sightings, and it’s been like this for the past three days.

We asked lifeguard officials how many sharks they believe are in the bay and they said they think there about a dozen sandbar sharks.

Lt. Kerry Atwood said the sandbar sharks range from 6 to 8 feet, some up to 10 feet in size.

Officials believe they are are feeding off the of the dead tilapia that flushed in from the river run off.

“We are speculating it is due to the river letting out a large school of tilapia into the salt water and the tilapia are dieing giving off distress signals [that are] attracting the sharks,” Atwood explained.

Beach goers dotted the shore line, but many kept a safe distance out of the water.

It’s uncommon to see a shark at Waimea Bay, it’s even more rare to see a group of them.

Protocol for shark sightings involve posting warning signs and informing the public, but for the past three days since the sharks have been spotted patrols have increased.

“We are performing ATV shoreline protocols and on top of that we have our rescue craft in the water actively patrolling,” Atwood said.

Lifeguards have no enforcement power, and despite their efforts to warn the public some took a dip anyway.

“We don’t recommend it. We are doing our best to warn people to stay out,” Atwood said.

The sharks have only been sighted here at Waimea Bay. Officials say these types of situations last up to 10 days.

No injuries or rescues have been reported.

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