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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:51 a.m., Friday, January 5, 2007

Shark bites surfer's board off Kaua'i waters

By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau

LIHU'E, Kaua'i—A shark bit a chunk out of a surfer's board at Major's Bay on the Pacific Missile Range Facility this morning, but the surfer was apparently either not injured or was well enough to leave without assistance.

Missile range information officer Tom Clements said that the surfer had a permit for surfing in the waters fronting the base, and was in the water with several other board-riders when a shark took a piece out of his board.

He reportedly left the water immediately after the attack and drove alone off the base. Clements said his identity was not immediately known and it was not clear whether he had suffered injuries in the incident.

After he left, a piece of his surfboard washed ashore. Clements said it was a semi-circle with jagged edges, about 13 inches wide and 6 inches deep from the board rim to the middle of the bite.

He said Navy officials will be consulting with county water safety officials about how to handle access to the water after a shark attack. The base will close surfing through today and tomorrow, Clements said.

The county has closed access in recent weeks to beaches at Kekaha, just south of the Pacific Missile Range Facility, and at Salt Pond Beach Park, after shark sightings at those popular beaches.