MAKENA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Family members say Patrick Briney, the man who was killed in a shark attack on Maui Monday, was a retired Boeing engineer. Bill Briney describes his younger brother as an active, free-spirit, who loved being out on the water, but says Monday was one of the first time's Pat had ever been kayak fishing.
"He's a very good fisherman," Bill said with a laugh over the phone. "Just about every place we go, we go fishing."
Pat traveled to Maui quite often, his brother Bill estimates about 15 times.
"When we would go to Maui it was always swim, hike, stay outside and be active," Bill described. "He loved Maui. He loved being outside in the water. It was important to him."
Pat was vacationing with a close friend. According to eyewitnesses, the attack happened about three miles off-shore between Maui and Molokini in an area that's popular for snorkeling and diving. Briney was kayak fishing with a friend, and reportedly dangling his legs into the water, when he was bitten. Witnesses say the friend tried to save him, but was unable to stop the bleeding with a tourniquet. He tethered Briney's kayak to his own and towed him over to a scuba boat, the Sea Spirit, which is operated by local company Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures.
"We saw there was a body lying flat out in the kayak and the body didn't look good. It has a very odd tint to it and I think we all realized there was something wrong. When the boat got closer we saw that the person in the kayak, age from 30 - 40 years old, was missing his foot and calf. Most of it was torn off to the bone," William Dunaway, who was on the boat told Kevin Harrington of Harrington Productions.
"It was devastating to see. Gruesome," added Viviane Alsandary, who was also on board.
Diving boat employees say there were two doctors on board, but they were never able to find a pulse on Briney. Emergency rescue crews were waiting at the boat ramp when they got to shore, but officials say he had already passed.
Bill says he heard the terrible news from his brother's wife, Kathryn, who was back home in Stevenson, Washington.
"As soon as she saw the sheriff at the door she knew what was going on," expained Bill. "It's really sad to know that you're not going to see someone again, ever."
According to Stevenson officials, a town with a population of about 1,500 people, Briney and his wife bought a home there in 2007. Stevenson, which is in Southern Washington near the Oregon border, is located along the Columbia River. Locals there say it's a popular kayak fishing area.
Word of Briney's death spread quickly on several kayak fishing blogs.
"Pat retired several years back and was enjoying surfing and fishing at Maui during winter. Pat was [a] long time fisherman and great friend. He was always ready to help others with advice. His favorite fishing rivers were Cowlitz, Klickitat, Wind, Skokomish, Kalama," wrote one user on iFish.net.
"I'd like to hope the guy was 'one of us'. That is to say that he loved what he was doing. Fair seas and following winds my friend," wrote someone on Northwest Kayak Anglers blog.
"What a way to go. Condolences to his family. I hope his buddy gets through this too. Had to be heart-wrenching for him," another posted.
State officials gave the all clear and re-opened the Maui coastline from Little Beach to Makena Landing after a fly-over Tuesday afternoon.
Bill says he's comforted by the memories he's shared with a brother he describes as wonderful and kind.
"Pat and I climbed a mountain together, Mount St. Helens, and we climbed it in the dark and watched the sunrise in the morning and I'll always, always remember that," said Bill.
Family members say Pat had no children. His wife Kathryn is believed to be on her way to Maui.