Shark sightings prompt warning signs at 2 Waikiki beaches - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Shark sightings prompt warning signs at 2 Waikiki beaches

Signs warning beachgoers of a shark sighting are posted at two Waikiki beaches Signs warning beachgoers of a shark sighting are posted at two Waikiki beaches
WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Lifeguards have posted warning signs at Kaimana Beach and Kuhio Beach in Waikiki after two separate shark sightings.

The first sighting of an 8 to 10-foot shark was reported at about 9:50 a.m. Sunday in waters about 200 yards offshore of Duke's Waikiki Restaurant and Bar.

"The first shark was spotted by beach goers and swimmers in the water, and they alerted lifeguards who did actually confirm seeing that shark," said Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright. "Then a couple hours later the second shark was spotted by an off-duty lifeguard." 

That shark was reported to be six feet long, and was seen in a surf spot known as Old Man's, a couple hundred feet to the left of Kaimana Beach.

Enright said in both cases, the sharks were not aggressive and were not feeding.

The sightings in Waikiki come after two recent shark attacks on Oahu, one on the North Shore and another at Lanikai.

"Their awareness might be heightened, a little bit more on edge, and we understand that, so we're hoping that people do listen to us, listen to the warnings and do take caution," said Enright.

Despite the posted warning signs, hundreds of people still went into the water at the two popular beaches in perfect beach weather with sunny skies and a light breeze.

"Yesterday we were out kayaking where the shark attack was last week and we were pretty comfortable with it," said frequent visitor Tracy Fredricks of San Diego, who had been to Lanikai. "My daughter's a little nervous, but we got her out here."

Waikiki surf instructor Howard Hart was still taking students into the water, and said he rarely sees sharks there. "I've been doing this 20 years," he said. "I've seen a couple before, years ago, come through, but they didn't hurt nobody. They just kept swimming and they left."

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said there has never been a confirmed shark bite in Waikiki waters because of the large number of people in the area. On Oct. 17, a surfer was bitten by what at first was believed to be a shark, but it was later determined that he was bitten by an eel.

Enright said lifeguards will assess the situation again tomorrow morning before determining whether to take down the warning signs.

Related story: DLNR confirms eel, not shark, bit surfer off Waikiki

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