For the third time in a week, a Hawaiian beachgoer has reported a close encounter with a tiger shark as a stand-up paddleboarder was thrown into the water off Maui when the predator attacked.
The incident occurred Wednesday morning about 200 yards off Maui’s Waipuilani Beach Park, according to Hawaii News Now. Kim Lawrence and Terry Lee were paddling around 10 a.m. in water that was between five to six feet deep and murky. Lee watched as a large tiger shark, with a head measuring two feet in width, attacked Lawrence’s board, knocking her into the water.
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“It bit down on her board right here, as you can see all the marks,” Lee observed. “She falls off and the shark slowly goes this way under her … and she’s struggling to get up so you can’t see if the shark’s got her legs or she’s getting up on her own.”
Lawrence compared the tiger shark’s attack to the feeling of a bucking horse. In the confusion following its initial strike, she actually stood on the shark to get back on her board.
“Felt the shark rub up against me,” she recalled. “My thought was, ‘Oh my God … he’s gonna bite my leg.’ My instinct was to kick. So I kicked really hard with this heel … still trying to get on my board to get my momentum…so I stepped right off of his back to get back on my board.”
The incident marks the third time this week that a shark has struck a surfer or paddleboarder in the waters off Maui, according to KITV. On Saturday, a 12 to 14 foot long tiger shark bit into a surfboard off the Lauloa Condominium Resort. The surfer used his board to fend off the shark, as The Inquisitr previously noted. On Tuesday, a paddleboarder in Kahului Harbor was unharmed after he encountered a shark, which also attacked his board.
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Department of Land and Natural Resources officials noted that all three shark attacks took place in waters that were brown with storm runoff. Measuring a 14 inch bite mark in Lawrence’s board, they reminded beachgoers to avoid murky waters. Lawrence was able to escape the tiger shark’s attack with no injuries.
[Image via The Active Woman Traveler]