There have been a lot of shark sightings on Oahu’s south shore lately. On Friday afternoon, the Hawaii Surfing Association state championships were taking place at Ala Moana Bowls, when a 12-foot tiger shark was spotted around 11 a.m. Two 12-year-old surfers were in the water for their heat when the shark was spotted. Water safety cleared the contestants out of the water and cancelled the contest for the remainder of the day.
“It was super scary,” 12-year old Kiki Oshiro Kaneshiro told Hawaii News Now. “I feel really bad for those girls. I really hope they’re okay and not really traumatized by anything, because I’m scared right now talking about it.”
“Ala Moana is notorious for sharks,” boater, surfer, and fisherman David Kuwada told Hawaii News Now. “It’s the perfect scenario. It’s like the fresh water coming out (of the Ala Wai Canal) with all the feeder fish and then the river mouth right there coming out to the ocean.”
Luckily, no one was injured, only rattled. A few weeks ago, on April 9, 58-year-old Mike Morita was attacked just down the beach at Kewalo Basin. Since the attack, there have been numerous shark sightings on Oahu’s south shore. Despite the recent attacks and sightings, it’s unlikely the shark sighted at Ala Moana is the same one that attacked Morita.
“Tiger sharks move around a heck of a lot, so it’s extremely unlikely that this is the same one,” said Waikiki Aquarium director Dr. Andrew Rossiter. “However, the fact that it is where it is may be due to the same reason: We had a lot of rain yesterday that came down the mountains and flushed down the Ala Wai into the ocean. All those interesting smells and tastes will draw the sharks in to investigate.”