MAKENA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The mayor of Maui County is weighing in on community suggestions to increase swimmer safety at beaches following several recent shark attacks.
There have been eight confirmed shark attacks in Hawaii this year; four of them were on Maui, and one of them was fatal. Jana Lutteropp, a visitor from Germany, was snorkeling off Palauea Beach in Makena when a shark bit off her right arm. She remained on life support in the hospital and died a week later on August 21.
"We're very sorry that the woman died, very young at 20-years-old," said Mayor Alan Arakawa. "It really is a tragic event. It's just very unfortunate that she was bitten to the extent that she was."
The spike in attacks has prompted calls for more safety measures, including installing an underwater barrier net near beaches or supporting shark hunts. When asked by reporter Wendy Osher with MauiNow.com, Mayor Arakawa said he does not support either suggestion because he does not believe they would solve the problem.
Earlier this month, state officials announced plans to spend two years studying tiger shark behavior around Maui due to the unprecedented spike in shark incidents.