Kanaha Beach was closed Thursday morning after a 6 – 8 ft shark took a bite out a paddle board off the island of Maui, Hawai’i. Surfboard shaper, Dave Petterson, said he used his paddle to whack the shark until it released its jaw from his board, leaving a bite mark 1-foot wide. Kanaha Beach Park in Central Maui was reopened on Friday morning, reported Hawaii News Now. Authorities suspect the shark in that case was a tiger shark due to its aggressive behavior.
Hawaiinewsnow informed the public that Kanaha Beach has been closed in the area the attack area stretching from Kahului Harbor mouth to the Kahului side of Spreckelsville. Officials explained that the paddle boarder, Peterson, had been waiting for another wave when the shark took a bite out of his board. He was able to hit the shark with his paddle and never saw it again after that. The attack happened around 7:30am.
Shark warning signs are posted. Lifeguards remind beach-goers to be aware of any unusual activity taking place in the water and to get out of the water immediately if a shark is spotted. Any sightings should be reported by calling 911 and asking for “Ocean Safety”.
Several shark attacks were also reported in Florida at the Ponce Inlet in Volusia County, with an additional attack reported in Cape Canaveral on the same day. Thankfully, none of the attacks were fatal and victims are expected to recover quickly.
Last Thursday, a 24-year-old surfer was attacked off Ponce Inlet in Volusia County. The Examiner.com explained that the injury was minor, but the victim’s ankle was bitten and he may require stitches. Volusia County has been known for its shark encounters, making this one the eighth attack of the year and earning its’ nickname of “shark bite capital of the world”.
On Friday, October 19th, another attack was reported in Cape Canaveral, Florida. A 35 year old women was bitten in the leg just before noon. The woman was transported to Cape Canaveral Hospital in Cocoa Beach, Florida. The woman is said to be in stable condition.
Florida and Hawaii have the largest amount of shark attacks due to the continental shelf and tropical reefs. Make sure to stay safe and be aware of your surroundings when you plan on paddling out.