In a shark attack on a Maui beach on Wednesday, a young woman had her arm ripped off by a shark. The victim of the attack, a German tourist in her 20s, was snorkeling at the Palauea beach at around 5 pm on Wednesday. She was just 150 feet from the shore.
The resort community of Makena reopened nearly two miles of beaches on Thursday when lifeguards and fire rescue teams deemed the area to be shark free. Visibility at the time of the shark attack was limited and the water was reported to be choppy.
Holidaymakers on the beach heard an almighty scream as the shark bit the swimmer’s arm, severing it from below the shoulder. The arm was not recovered, suggesting that the shark probably consumed it.
People who were on the beach at the time of the attack reportedly put the woman on a kayak and bought her to shore. Deborah Ward. spokeswoman for the local Department of Land and Nature Resources said it wasn’t clear which breed of shark attacked the woman: ”We will try to speak to the victim when she is cleared to speak with us.’
Maui is no stranger to shark attacks. In 2012, there were 11 recorded shark attacks in the state, so far this year there have been six shark attacks, not including the one on Wednesday. Willis McInnin was bitten fatally by a tiger shark back in 2004 while he surfed in Maui. He lost so much blood from the attack that he died on the shore soon after he was bitten. Previously, the last fatal Maui shark attack was in 1992.
Tiger sharks are usually the culprits when it comes to humans being attacked while they swim. It is not known why they attack humans, but many believe that it is in order to ascertain if they are legitimate prey for them. Wednesday’s vicious Maui shark attack highlights the need for tourists and bathers to take extra precautions when swimming there. Authorities recommend people swim in small groups and avoid bathing after dark.