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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 26, 2006

Shark bites likely came after diver had died

Associated Press

WAILUKU, Maui A diver whose shark-bitten body was recovered off the coast of Maui was likely dead before he was attacked by a shark, according to preliminary autopsy results yesterday.

The Maui News reported that forensic pathologist Dr. Anthony Manoukian did not conclude that the shark bites were the cause of death.

"There was no clear indication that he was alive at the time he was bitten," Manoukian said after the two-hour autopsy.

Anthony Moore, a 45-year-old from San Jose, Calif., went missing Thursday night after diving in South Maui waters at a place known as "Five Graves," a popular snorkeling site about a mile offshore.

His wife identified a lanyard and keys found on the remains, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael De Nyse.

Kayakers and rescue workers did not see any sharks in the area during their search for Moore's body.

Nearby Makena Beach on Maui was reopened yesterday afternoon after it had been closed by the Department of Land and Natural Resources a day earlier. Signs were posted Friday in the area warning beachgoers that a shark may be in the vicinity.

Moore was a well-conditioned, athletic man who had taken up free diving, De Nyse said.

He was trying to reach a depth of 100 feet at the dive site using a snorkel and regular swim fins during his Thursday evening dive, De Nyse said.

The Five Graves site is popular with divers because it features underwater caves and a large population of sea turtles.

Drowning is more of a threat to divers than shark attacks, said Carlos Eyles, who has been free diving for more than 50 years and now works as an underwater photographer.

"Like everything else, it can be dangerous but it doesn't have to be. The real danger in it is that people don't understand their limitations and they exceed them," he said. "And if you're diving alone and you exceed your limitations, you're asking for trouble."

Moore was expected to return from his dive at 5 p.m. Thursday, and his wife reported him missing at 6:58 p.m.

Maui Kayaks tour guide Chris Corbat found body parts bobbing in the water at 8 a.m. on Friday, and he called for a dive boat to pick up the remains.

"It was very unnerving. That was a live human being," Corbat said. "We dive there all the time. It's a beautiful spot, not only for scuba but for diving and paddling."

The last fatal shark attack in Hawai'i waters occurred in 2004 off Maui.