Maui snorkeler seriously injured in shark attack

Maui snorkeler seriously injured in shark attack
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KIHEI, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the seventh shark attack so far this year, a 66-year-old woman was bit while snorkeling off Maui on Friday morning.

The woman was in 7-foot-deep, slightly murky waters about 30 yards offshore of Charley Young Beach.

Bystanders said she lost part of her leg.

"When we did get out to her she was awake and conscious.  And then she lost consciousness and her pulse was really low," said Pierre Luc Arsenau.

No one on shore saw the shark that attacked the woman.

But witnesses realized something was wrong when they heard the woman screaming. Two tourists vising from Canada used their paddle board to ferry the woman back to the beach.

The two say the woman was losing a lot of blood.

"She was very calm," Arsenau said.

Bystanders also applied pressure to the wound until paramedics arrived.

The woman was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Officials say she lives in Kihei part of the year. She spends the rest of her time in Washington state.

Of the seven shark attacks so far this year, four have happened off Maui.

University of Hawaii scientists say that's no coincidence.

A two-year tracking study found many tiger sharks converge off South Maui because the underwater topography creates an abundance of marine life.

Shark attacks are also up in recent years because more people are in the water.

And October is the number one month for attacks.

Since 1985, October has had nearly 30 unprovoked shark bites. That's more than twice as many as any other month.

Experts point to female tiger sharks migrating to the islands to give birth in the fall as one reason for the increase.

Warning signs have been posted from Kalama Park to Kamaole Beach Park III.

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