Hawaii Shark Attack: Woman Killed While Snorkeling Off Maui

A 65-year-old woman was killed in a shark attack off the coast of Maui on Wednesday, prompting beach closures in Hawaii after the year’s first fatal incident.

The attack took place shortly before 9 a.m., according to Hawaii News Now, when a female snorkeler was struck by a shark at a surf spot near Makena commonly known as “Dumps.” The victim was found roughly 200 yards from shore by other snorkelers, floating face down in the water. She displayed severe injuries to her upper torso, and the shark had severed one of her arms in the course of the attack.

Firefighters and paramedics who responded to the scene attempted to revive the woman, who was reportedly a resident of Kihei, after she was brought out of the ocean and on to the shore. Before the attack took place, the victim had been snorkeling with two other friends, yet she became separated from them at some point and was discovered alone. Despite the efforts of first responders, her injuries were severe and proved to be fatal.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources identified the site of the attack as the Kanahena Cove area of Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, according to the AP. Kekoa Kaluhiwa, the agency’s first deputy director, noted that authorities would be investigating the circumstances of the shark attack and posting additional signs along the coast, warning beachgoers of the potential for danger. The area around the site of the attack was closed to swimmers and cleared of beachgoers by crews using jetskis, and will remain shuttered until at least noon on Thursday.

Last week, another serious shark attack took place in Australia. As the Inquisitr previously reported, that attack involved a large great white, according to witnesses on the scene, which severed a surfer’s leg. Though the 26-year-old was not killed in the attack, he was airlifted to Adelaide, where he remained in critical condition.

So far, no witnesses have come forward to describe the attack. Sharks haven’t caused a fatality in Hawaii since 2013, when both a 20-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man were killed in separate incidents near Makena. Hawaiian authorities have also not stated what species of shark is believed to be responsible for the fatal attack.

[Image: Albert Kok via Wikipedia]