UPDATE: Beaches reopened after shark attack with audio from 911 call
Ocean safety officials reopened waters off Kaanapali at noon Wednesday after the area was ordered off limits to swimmers and surfers because of a shark attack Tuesday morning.
There were no further signs of the shark that bit a California man, officials said.
The shoreline waters from Black Rock to Honokowai were closed after a shark inflicted deep lacerations on the right thigh of a 58-year-old Marina Del Rey man. He had been surfing about 100 yards off the Maui Kai condominium. The man was able to paddle back to shore where bystanders helped him until paramedics came and took him to Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said the man declined reporters’ interview requests on Wednesday, as he had on Tuesday.
Maui County officials said the man described the shark’s head as being the “size of a basketball.” Surfers reported seeing a shark around 4 feet long.
However, based on the victim’s account and his injuries, the shark may be from 8 to 10 feet long, according to Maui County lifeguards.
Since beaches were closed, lifeguards and state Department of Land and Natural Resources officers monitored the area, using binoculars from the rooftop of the Maui Kai, patrolling the shoreline on all-terrain vehicles and in the water on personal watercraft.
Police said a camera on the front of the victim’s board had been set in time-lapse mode to take a photo every few seconds. One photo shows what looks like 2 to 3 inches of a fin coming up from the water at the back of the board, said a Lahaina patrol officer who reviewed the photos. He said the next photo shows thrashing water and the surfer grabbing his leg.
“You can’t actually see the shark,” the officer said. “You don’t see anything jumping out of the water at him.”
Later photos show the man “pretty calm” as he paddles to shore after being bit, the officer said.
Police were holding the camera for the man until he is released from the hospital.