Woman gets ‘bumped’ by shark off South Maui

The Maui News – A 40-year-old Canadian woman who said she was bumped hard by an 8-foot gray shark while swimming between Kamaole II and III Beach Parks suffered minor injuries Thursday afternoon before swimming to shore, fire officials said.

The shark encounter at about 12:30 p.m. led county ocean safety lifeguards to close the beaches from Kamaole I to III in Kihei, Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto said.

The beaches were reopened at 2:45 p.m., he said. Ocean safety officials said there were no further shark sightings.

The woman was snorkeling about 10 yards off the point between the two beach parks when she was bumped by the shark, he said. The shark swam off into deeper waters and the woman was able to swim to shore.

The woman from Toronto suffered light bruising and minor abrasions to her left thigh and left arm and declined medical treatment, Taomoto said.

Ocean safety personnel patrolled the waters off the Kamaole beach parks on rescue watercraft and warned beachgoers to stay out of the ocean, he said. Conservation officers from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement also were on the scene warning beachgoers on shore.

The shark encounter comes on the heels of another incident a day earlier off Big Beach farther south. An 8-foot Galapagos shark snatched the fish catch from two divers and followed them to shore. Makena State Park was closed for two hours after the report Wednesday.

On Sept. 21, Makena State Park was closed briefly after a shark snatched the catch from two men spearfishing 100 yards offshore.