Kayak fisherman killed in Maui shark attack identified

Published: Dec. 2, 2013 at 4:05 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2013 at 11:18 PM HST
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© MAUIWatch
© MAUIWatch

MAKENA, MAUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - A kayak fisherman was attacked and killed by a shark in waters off of Maui on Monday morning.

This is the second fatal shark attack off South Maui in less than four months.

Maui police identify the victim as 57-year-old Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Washington. Police say Briney was kayaking with a friend from Makena Landing towards Big Beach when he was attacked.

Police say Briney began to scream, "which caught the attention of his friend" who found him with severe bleeding from his right leg.

The following is a statement from the Department of Land and Natural Resources:

DLNR and County lifeguards have closed waters off Makena State Recreation Area, following a fatal shark bite before 10:20 a.m. this morning in which a man was bit while fishing from a kayak half a mile off a point near Little Beach.

A companion, also on a kayak, said the man was fishing with artificial lures to attract baitfish when his dangling foot was bit by a shark.

His fishing partner was about 500 yards away when the incident occurred, then paddled over, tied a tourniquet and asked a nearby charter tour boat for assistance. The boat brought the injured man to Kihei boat ramp from where he was transported to the hospital."

Shark warning signs are being posted to advise the public to remain out of the water from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing. The beaches are open but the public is advised to stay out of the water.

DLNR staff and County lifeguards will continue to monitor the nearshore waters today and in the morning will reassess the area. If no sharks are seen, the area will reopen at noon tomorrow, following state shark incident protocol.

According to the Division of Aquatic Resources, this is the 13th reported shark incident statewide this year, and the 8th on Maui. Over the last 20 years, Hawaii has averaged about four unprovoked shark incidents per year, but numbers per individual year are highly variable. There were no reported incidents in1998, and just one in 2008. In 2012, the 10 incidents reported were at the time unprecedented.

"We are not sure why these bites are occurring more frequently than normal, especially around Maui. That's why we are conducting a two-year study of shark behavior around Maui that may give us better insights," said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. "It is our hope and expectation that numbers of incidents will return to a more normal range in the near future."

Aila continued, "We offer our condolences to the family of the victim. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Just three days ago (Nov. 29) a woman sustained non-fatal injuries after she was attacked by shark near Keawekapu Beach, just miles away from today's attack near Little Beach.

On August 14, 2013, a 20-year-old German tourist was killed when her arm was severed in a shark attack at Palauea Beach, which is also in Makena.

Following the state's shark response protocol,  Maui nearshore waters from Little Beach to Makena Landing reopened Tuesday shortly after 12 p.m., following  on-water patrols by Maui County lifeguards.

Maui County Fire Department's helicopter also did a flyover and no sharks were seen.

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