Paddle surfer reports aggressive tiger shark

Waters off Ukumehame were monitored but not closed Wednesday afternoon after a 43-year-old Haiku man told officials he saw an aggressive tiger shark about 75 yards offshore, the state Department of Land and Natural Resource reported.

The man, identified as Kazuma Surfboards owner Matt Kinoshita, reported seeing an 8-foot tiger shark while he was paddle surfing off Ukumehame around 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the DLNR.

Kinoshita saw the shark “approaching him from the side with its mouth open,” officials said. “He turned his board toward the shark and ran over its back with the board. Fortunately, he did not fall off his board. He lost sight of it, and it may have swum in the Kihei direction.”

Kinoshita reported his encounter with the shark to county lifeguards and contacted state Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement officers, officials said. A lifeguard was dispatched to monitor the area while aboard a personal watercraft, but after two hours of watching there were no other shark sightings.

Divers and surfers in the area were warned about the shark sighting.