Shark Attacks Swimmer In Maui

A 61-year-old man survived an attack by a 6 to 8-foot-long reef shark off the coast of Maui, bringing an end to a six month stretch in which no attacks were reported on the Hawaiian island.

According to The Associated Press, firefighters responded Wednesday to a youth center on Maui, where the man was found with a wounded foot. The swimmer, who was not identified, told officials that he had been attacked by a reef shark. The animal reportedly bit his left foot while he was swimming about 200 yards offshore of Paia beach. Following the shark attack, he was able to swim to shore under his own power, where authorities were called. The man was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, presenting with non-life threatening injuries, which included a six-inch laceration on his left foot.

The attack brings an end to a six month period in which no shark attacks were reported off Maui. The last reported attack in Maui waters occurred in early December, when a kayaker was killed by a shark. As The Inquisitr reported at the time, Patrick Briney of Stevenson, Washington, was fishing from his kayak when a shark attacked his foot, which was trailing in the water. Despite the efforts of a fellow kayaker who was with Briney, he died following the attack.

Wednesday’s attack marked the first shark attack of the year in Maui County, according to Maui News. There were six attacks reported last year in Maui waters, with most of them occurring in the latter half of the year. The last attack that took place in all Hawaiian waters happened off the Big Island. A 29-year-old man from Captain Cook was bodyboarding to the south of Punaluu Beach Park when he was bitten by a shark.

Elsewhere on the west coast, Shark attacks have been on the rise as the summer begins. An attack that occurred just off Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles has prompted the city council to consider a state of emergency, as well as banning fishing from the pier. The shark that was involved in that attack had reportedly been hooked by a fisherman prior to the incident. Meanwhile, in the Bahamas, a missing shark diver is thought to have possibly been the victim of an attack.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed a 2-mile section of beach at Paia Bay to assess the presence of sharks following the attack, but it has since reopened.

[Image via The Beachside Resident]