Shark Kills Woman Snorkeling in Hawaii

Fatal attack is state's 4th in 20 years
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2015 9:14 AM CDT
Shark Kills Woman Snorkeling in Hawaii
This undated file photo provided by Ron Dahlquist for the Maui Visitors Bureau shows Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/MVB, Ron Dahlquist)

Hawaii appears to have seen its first deadly shark attack of the year. A 65-year-old woman was killed while snorkeling off the southwest coast of Maui yesterday morning, and county officials say she suffered injuries to her upper torso consistent with a shark attack, NBC News reports. She had been snorkeling with two friends but became separated from the group. The woman's name has not been released, but officials say she was a local who lived about 12 miles up the coast from where other snorkelers found her unresponsive, facedown about 200 yards from shore near the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, around 9am. CNN reports firefighters arrived at the scene and "tried lifesaving efforts" but to no avail.

There appear to be no witnesses and it isn't clear what type of shark was involved. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is investigating, Fox News reports. Several areas of beach were closed to the public as a result, including the popular surfing area "The Dumps," but they were expected to reopen around noon today. There have been two other shark attacks in Hawaii this year, but neither was fatal. In fact, yesterday's tragedy is just the fourth fatal attack in the state in 20 years; two of those occurred off the coast of Maui in 2013. Beaches in southern California also had warnings posted yesterday after a pair of 5- to 6-foot sharks were reportedly sighted at an Orange County beach. (Read more Hawaii stories.)

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