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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, October 27, 2003

Fish bite leads to 40 stitches for Maui man

Associated Press

HONOLUA, Maui — A Maui man is recovering with 40 stitches after being bitten on the arm by what was believed to be a barracuda while swimming at Honolua Bay on Friday.

Don Keener, 56, of Kula said he didn't see what hit him, but doctors who treated him said it probably was a barracuda.

Keener said he was knee-deep in murky water and had just started to swim out to clearer waters to snorkel when the fish hit his arm, which he yanked away.

"I did about two strokes and it just grabbed my arm," he said.

A friend and a couple on the beach used a towel and a sarong to stop the bleeding. Keener was taken by ambulance to Maui Medical Center.

The barracuda, or kaku, is armed with sharp teeth and is common in Hawai'i waters. It has been known to attack people, usually in murky water.