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tiger shark kills tourist on Maui

The woman, who disappeared while snorkeling on Maui, is believed to have been killed by a tiger shark. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The Inertia

On December 8, a 60-year-old tourist from Washington state vanished while snorkeling on Maui. The investigation into her disappearance has concluded that she was the victim of a fatal shark attack.

The woman, whose body hasn’t been recovered, was snorkeling with her husband at Keawakapu Point in south Maui. According to reports, the woman’s husband said they encountered a shark about 50 yards offshore. He told officials the shark circled him in an aggressive manner and he lost sight of his wife. The shark eventually swam away, but returned a short time later. The man said he saw “something red around the shark’s gills” when it came back.

Around the same time, a witness on the beach called police to report a shark attack. He said that he “saw a large shark feeding on something in the middle of a red cloud in the water.

Officials from the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement were dispatched to the area to search for the a possible shark attack victim, but after a two-day search from the water and the air, they weren’t able to find any sign of the woman. They did, however, spot a 10-12 foot tiger shark nearby.

Signs were set up warning beachgoers that a shark could be in the area, but they were removed after later searches no longer found the shark. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources typically doesn’t release the names of people involved in shark encounters.

This attack comes just a few weeks after a Big Island man fought off a tiger shark with a diving knife at Anaehoomalu Bay.


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