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Record Number of Shark Attacks in Hawai'i

Flickr / Vic DeLeon
Flickr / Vic DeLeon

Hawai’i made international news yesterday with another fatal shark attack on Maui.  Makena State Recreation Area was closed after the attack that happened before 10:30 am.  Maui police identified the victim as 57-year-old Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Washington.  A companion says Briney was fishing with artificial lures from a kayak with his leg dangling in the water when his leg was bitten.  It was the second fatal shark attack off South Maui in less than four months.  HPR’s Noe Tanigawa reports there is one similarity in the Maui attacks.

DLNR recommends following these safety precautions, adopted by the original Shark Task Force and updated slightly based on new understanding of shark behavior.

1.  Swim, surf or dive with other people, and don’t move too far away from assistance.
2.  Stay out of the water at dawn, dusk and night, when some species of sharks may move inshore to feed. But realize that sharks, especially tiger sharks, have been known to bite people any time of the day or night.
3.  Do not enter the water if you have open wounds or are bleeding in any way. Sharks can detect blood and body fluids in extremely small concentrations.
4.  Avoid murky waters, harbor entrances and areas near stream mouths (especially after heavy rains), channels or steep drop-offs. These types of waters are known to be frequented by sharks.
5.  Do not wear high-contrast clothing or shiny jewelry. Sharks see contrast very well.
6.  Refrain from excessive splashing; keep pets, which swim erratically, out of the water. Sharks are known to be attracted to such activity.
7.  Do not enter the water if sharks are known to be present. Leave the water quickly and calmly if one is sighted. Do not provoke or harass a shark, even a small one.
8.  If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, leave the water. Avoid swimming near dolphins, as they are prey for some large sharks.
9.  Remove speared fish from the water or tow them a safe distance behind you. Do not swim near people fishing or spear fishing. Stay away from dead animals in the water.
10. Swim or surf at beaches patrolled by lifeguards and follow their advice.

For more information visit the Hawaii Sharks website

You can also follow the seven tagged sharks in Hawai’i waters.

Noe Tanigawa covered art, culture and ideas for two decades at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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