UPDATE: Big Shark Bites Big Island PaddlerMarch 26, 2019, 2:49 PM HST (Updated March 27, 2019, 8:15 AM)
UPDATE: March 27, 2019, 8 AM
New photos provided by Shanel Miller clearly show shark bite marks on the outrigger canoe of a 75-year-old-man who encountered a 12-foot-long shark yesterday. Miller estimated the width of the bite mark at 18 inches.
ORIGINAL POST: March 26, 2:49 PM
A 75-year-old man received wounds to his leg in an apparent shark encounter after 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2019, the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources reported.
The Hawai‘i County Fire Department received the report from an isolated area between ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay and Keawaiki in the Waikoloa area of North Hawai‘i.
The man and three others report they were paddling outrigger canoes about a half-mile off-shore when one of the boaters noticed the victim had stopped paddling. The victim said a shark first bit the hull of the canoe and knocked him into the water. He said he fended off the shark with his paddle. He could not identify the shark species but estimated it was the same length as his 12-foot-long canoe. His fellow paddlers helped him get back to shore and a friend took him to North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.
The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources reported that the fire department conducted a helicopter fly-over of the area but no sharks were spotted. Another fly-over is scheduled for Wednesday morning to ensure sharks have not moved into more heavily used areas.
Due to the ruggedness and remoteness of the area, no warning signs have been posted. It is not typically visited and requires a two-mile hike in to reach the coastline.