LOCAL NEWS

Utah man bit by shark while swimming in Hawaii

Mar 22, 2023, 11:40 AM | Updated: 11:52 am

(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)...

(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

(Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources)

WAIKOLOA, Hawaii — A 62-year-old Utah man was taken to a Hawaiian hospital after he was bit twice by a shark while swimming off the Big Island.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Aquatic Resources said the man was swimming approximately 200 yards offshore when the shark bit his left hand. While trying to fight off the shark, he felt another bite behind his left knee.

The man called out for help and the crew from a nearby catamaran helped him and took him back to shore, where first responders from the Hawai’i County Fire Department took him to North Hawai’i Community Hospital.

“Under established protocols, DLNR does not release victims’ names, extent of injuries, or medical condition,” officials said.

The beach was closed for the rest of the day Sunday and “shark sighted” signs were put up. No sharks were spotted during a helicopter flyover on Monday, and the signs were removed.

This was the third reported shark attack in the ‘Anaeho’omalu Bay, or A Bay, area since 2019 and the first since December 2022. The bay is located on the west shore of the Big Island and is a popular spot for recreational activities like snorkeling.

Last month, a Tiger shark bit an inflatable paddleboard off the coast of Maui, near Kihei. The paddleboarders were about 1 mile offshore and were able to paddle back to shore.

“Incidents of sharks biting people in Hawaiian waters are very rare, occurring on average at a rate of about three or four per year,” state officials said. “Fatal shark bites are extremely rare, especially considering the number of people in Hawaii’s waters.”

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Utah man bit by shark while swimming in Hawaii