Tiger shark bites stand-up paddleboard off Kihei, follows 2 to shore

Updated: Dec. 3, 2019 at 9:08 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A paddleboarder had a close call with an aggressive tiger shark off Kihei on Tuesday morning, prompting officials to urge people to stay out of the water in the area.

The incident happened about 200 yards offshore just after 10 a.m. Swimmers were urged to stay out of the water from Cove Park to Waipuilani Park.

Authorities said a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark bit an inflatable stand-up paddleboard, deflating it.

The 57-year-old man on the paddleboard ― a part-time Maui resident ― swam over to another person’s board, and then started to head toward land. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the shark pursued the two to shore.

"So I get ready to paddle back just as I thought ‘I think I’ll go back’ my board got knocked out from under me. And as I’m going down, the only thing I could think was, ‘get on that board laying flat as quickly as possible and don’t let your feet go under as I’m falling,’ Larry Oberto said.

Oberto was in the water alongside Aj Gaston.

"At first I didn’t know that he’d been hit by the shark. So I saw him fall in the water and I thought, 'Man that’s dumb — there’s a shark right here.”

Gaston says he pulled Oberto and his deflated board onto his own board.

“And I looked at him and I’m like, ‘Dude, that thing is as big or bigger than my board’ and he goe ‘there’s another one, a smaller one,’” Oberto said.

No one was injured in the incident, but officials said people should stay out of the water in the area until further notice.

This story will be updated.

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