Big Island beach reopened following shark attack

Big Island beach closed after shark attack
Published: Dec. 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:50 PM HST
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PAHALA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - [Update 12 p.m.]

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) and County lifeguards will reopen Punaluu beach today at noon. A County fire helicopter flyover this morning did not show any presence of sharks in nearshore waters.

[Original story posted below]

Big Island police are investigating a shark bite that occurred Wednesday at Punaluʻu in the area of Punaluʻu Beach and Nînole Bay.

At approximately 8 a.m., a 29-year-old Captain Cook man reported being bitten by a shark while body boarding in the area of Nînole Bay, which is just south of Punaluʻu Beach Park.

Officers contacted the victim at Kaʻû Hospital, where he was being treated for his non-life-threatening injuries. The victim reported being approximately 20 yards off shore in 8 feet of water when the shark attack occurred. He was body boarding with two friends, who identified the shark as being a Tiger shark 10 -12 feet long.

The victim is expected to be released from the hospital after treatment.

Lifeguards have posted shark warning signs at Punaluu beach park, which will remain closed the rest Wednesday. A fire department helicopter flew over the area at 10 a.m.  Wednesday and will do so again Thursday morning,  If there is no further sighting of sharks the park will reopen at noon Thursday.

Ka'u Kako'o, a local community outreach group at Punaluu will help to inform beachgoers that the beach is closed.

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