Tourist Dies After Shark Attack on Maui
Editor’s note: The previous fatality from a shark attack in Hawaii was in 2004, when a man was attacked while surfing in Maui waters.
Jana Lutteropp, the 20-year-old German woman who had her arm severed in a shark attack incident at Maui’s Palauea Beach last week, died today, hospital officials confirmed.
The death comes days after a 16-year-old surfer was attacked by a shark here on the Big Island at Pohoiki Boat Ramp. There have been three total shark incidents this year on the Big Island, and a total of eight for Hawaii, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.
In a statement released by Jutta Lutteropp and Julia Broeske, mother and sister of Jana, family members said:
“Jana fought hard to stay alive. However, we are sad to say that she lost her fight today.
Jana was a very beautiful, strong, young woman who was always laughing, and we will forever remember her that way.
We appreciate all the support from the Maui community, as well as the prayers and thoughts from around the world and in Germany.
We especially want to thank the wonderful caregivers and everyone at Maui Memorial Medical Center.”
Hospital officials say the family requests that any donations be made to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation in memory of Jana Lutteropp.
The attack was reported at around 4:41 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, while Lutteropp was snorkeling about 50 yards from shore. County officials say the conditions were choppy with limited visibility.
In the wake of the incident and other shark incidents in island waters, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced the launch of a shark study next month off Maui following an “unprecedented spike” in the number of shark bite incidents in recent months.
The incident comes on the heels of a separate incident in which a shark bite an unmanned board about a quarter mile offshore of Kaʻa Point near Kanahā Beach in Central Maui on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013. No one was injured in that incident.
And prior to that, a shark attack was reported on Wednesday July 31, 2013, in the Ulua Beach area of South Maui. During that incident, a California woman was treated and released from the hospital after suffering bite marks to her face and torso.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources has a list of tips for “Safety Dos and Don’ts” relating to water safety and sharks.