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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Shark attacks girl at Maui beach

By Christie Wilson
Advertiser Neighbor Island Editor

An unidentified shark attack victim was taken to the Maui Memorial Medical Center emergency room with a leg wound yesterday.

CHRISTIE WILSON | The Honolulu Advertiser

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For shark-avoidance tips and other information on sharks, see the state Division of Aquatic Resources site.

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MAKENA, Maui A 15-year-old Kihei girl was bitten on the leg by a shark yesterday at Makena State Park on the same coastline where the shark-ravaged remains of a diver were found Friday.

Initial reports indicate the girl suffered a 12-inch wound on her right calf around 4:30 p.m. The stepfather of the unidentified girl said the teen told him she was swimming at Big Beach when she was attacked without warning. He said the girl, who was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, is expected to recover.

He declined to comment further or to provide their names, citing a desire for privacy.

Makena State Park is a popular swimming and bodyboarding spot also known for its treacherous shorebreak and currents.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources followed its usual protocol for shark attacks and closed a section of coastline near where the incident occurred and notified nearby hotels, including the Maui Prince. Crews are expected to scan the waters this morning to look for sharks in the area before a decision is made whether to reopen the shoreline.

An autopsy on the remains of the diver found last week indicated Anthony Moore, 45, of San Jose, Calif., likely died before his body was bitten by sharks. Moore swam out alone from Makena Landing on Thursday afternoon and was reported missing by his wife when he failed to return. Partial remains and diving gear were found the following day at a dive spot known as Five Graves.

On Dec. 21, a San Diego man lost part of his left hand when he was bitten by a shark while swimming several hundred yards off Keawakapu Beach in Kihei. On Feb. 1, a kayaker reported being bumped by a large shark about a mile off Makena State Park.

In 2005, there were five shark attacks in Hawai'i, four off Maui and one off O'ahu. In 2004, there were four attacks, one each off Maui, Moloka'i, Kaua'i and the Big Island.

The last fatal shark attack in the Islands occurred April 7, 2004, when a surfer was killed off Kahana in West Maui.

Reach Christie Wilson at cwilson@honoluluadvertiser.com.