HONOLULU (KHON2) — A 27-year-old visitor is recovering in the hospital after she said she was bitten by a shark off the Big Island. Dozens of people were out on the water at the time.
The apparent shark attack was reported at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning in Kealakekua Bay on Hawaii Island.
Fire officials say from an aerial view they saw a reef shark and tiger shark in the bay about 50 feet away from people in the water.
The victim’s wounds indicate it could’ve been a smaller shark.
We learned the 27-year-old woman who’s visiting from the mainland suffered injuries to her lower back and right hip. A witness described the shark as having a grey tip. Fire officials tell us the woman was able to make it to shore on her own.
“She felt something bump her and she was in the shore break at the time. According to her, she was 50-100 feet offshore and the water was a little murky for the shore break due to the South swell,” said Emergency Operations Battalion Chief William Bergin.
Not including this latest event, the state has recorded 8 shark incidents so far this year. That’s more than double last year which had 3 reports, and more than two years ago which recorded 5.
“According to some local fisherman in the area, they said this time of year there’s a lot more fish in the bay so that attracts the shark, and also possibly some dolphins birthing in the area could be attracting the sharks,” said Bergin.
Shark warning signs are posted and the popular bay, along with kayak rental shops in the area, is closed at least until noon Wednesday.
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