DLNR: Witness to fatal shark attack off Maui saw ‘red cloud’ in water

The new detail was included in a report issued Friday from the state.
Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 1:58 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2022 at 3:28 PM HST
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KIHEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A witness saw a large shark feeding on something “in the middle of a red cloud in the water” just before a snorkeler off Maui was reported missing in what’s been classified as a fatal shark attack.

The new detail was included in a report issued Friday from the state.

Officials said witness accounts corroborate what the snorkeler’s husband said after reporting the woman missing.

The woman, a visitor from Washington state, was snorkeling off South Maui on Dec. 8 when she was attacked.

READ MORE: Multi-agency search ends for missing woman who apparently suffered shark bite off Maui

Her body was never recovered, but part of her swimsuit and a snorkel set was.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said the victim’s husband told authorities that he noticed an “aggressive” tiger shark in the water after he went in.

He also said he wasn’t snorkeling right next to his wife.

He told officials that he could only see his wife from ”time to time.” but once he noticed the shark begin to circle him he began looking for his wife and thought that she might have been diving toward the ocean floor.

The man told officers the shark swam off while he continued looking for his wife by popping his head out of the water and scanning the surface. When the shark came back, he could see something red around the shark’s gills.

At that time, he told officials, people on the beach began yelling at him to get out of the water because a shark was feeding in the area. He got to shore and the search for the woman was launched.

The witness who spotted the “red cloud” in the water called 911 to report the incident.

DOCARE concluded that this was a tragic accident, and the MPD came to a similar conclusion reporting that the disappearance as a “miscellaneous accident-fatal.”