Some Hawaii residents and visitors staying away from beaches aft - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Some Hawaii residents and visitors staying away from beaches after recent shark attacks

LANIKAI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Many are staying out of the water Sunday after a shark attack at a popular windward Oahu beach over the weekend.

It’s the second shark attack in a week off Oahu's shores.

Lanikai, which is typically packed on any given weekend, was practically empty 24 hours after a man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition suffering a shark bite to his feet.

Warning signs were still up at Kailua Beach Sunday morning and not a lot of people were in the water at the world renowned attraction.

The news of two reported shark attacks at two popular beaches in Hawaii in one day spread nationally and internationally. The incident in Waikiki turned out to be an eel bite, but the shark attack at Lanikai Beach is confirmed.

"Oh I think everybody, think people from all over the country heard about the news. I'm getting all kinds of emails and posts on Facebook concerned that this is our neighborhood and our beach access where this happened," said Lanikai resident Janet Edghill.

Officials say a 44-year-old man and his friend were swimming back to shore from the Mokulua Islands when the 44-year-old was attacked by a shark.

Witnesses said a paddler who helped rescue the man said it was a seven foot tiger shark with very distinctive stripes. Witnesses said the victim's right ankle was severed.

A few are still getting in the water despite the news while others say they're afraid.

"We still came out here to Kailua beach despite the news and it's not stopping me and family from getting in the water," said California visitor Ryan Hill.

"We walk across the street in the evening and swim here and I think we won't be doing that for a little while anyhow," Edghill said.

George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority released this statement:

The incidents that occurred over the weekend were isolated. As an island state, we are surrounded by the ocean, so it is important that both our visitors and residents take precaution to understand ocean safety and take precaution when entering the water. We encourage people to educate themselves about our destination to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit. The HTA recommends visitors familiarize themselves with information available on www.travelsmarthawaii.com, which is available in English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean, oceansafety.soest.hawaii.edu/, and Hawai‘i state and county civil defense websites. It is also important that everyone heed all warning signs posted in the areas they visit and suggested that visitors consult lifeguards about water conditions when visiting the beach.

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