Tiger shark sighted off Kamaole beach

The waters off Kamaole Beach Parks I, II and III in Kihei were closed for two hours after an 8-foot tiger shark was spotted 25 feet from shore Wednesday consuming a dead bird in the water, a Maui County fire official said.

Two beachgoers saw the tiger shark on the north end of Kamaole II just before noon, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto. There was a dead bird floating on the surface and the shark swallowed it whole, he said. The shark then swam away.

The descriptions by the beachgoers confirmed that the shark was a tiger, Taomoto said.

Lifeguards began informing beachgoers at about noon of the shark sighting and the closure of waters off the three beaches, he said. A rescue watercraft was launched to clear swimmers from the ocean, and lifeguards patrolled waters off the Kamaole beaches to monitor shark activity.

Conservation officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement also were on the scene warning beachgoers to stay out of the ocean.

The waters were reopened at about 2 p.m. Wednesday after no further shark sightings, Taomoto said. This was the third shark sighting/encounter so far this month.