Fatal shark attack reported off coast of Hawaiian island of Maui

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2015 11:57 AM

(Reuters) - Officials in Hawaii are reporting a fatal shark attack off the island of Maui and are barring swimmers from the area's shoreline.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said the attack occurred on Wednesday.

Local news website Maui Now, citing a Maui fire official, said the victim was a 65-year-old woman who apparently had been snorkeling in the water and was found floating face-down with injuries to her torso believed to be from a shark attack near a popular surf spot called "Dumps."

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said a stretch of water along more than 4 miles (6.4 km) of shoreline in the area will be closed at least until noon local time on Thursday as a result of the death.

It was unclear what kind of shark bit the victim, whose name was not immediately released.

A tiger shark last month bit the arm of a person, causing severe but not fatal lacerations, at Hapuna Beach on Hawaii's Big Island, officials said.

The last two fatal shark attacks in Hawaii occurred in 2013 in the same area off the coast of Maui where the latest victim died. That year, a man fishing from a kayak was bitten to death by a shark and a German tourist had her arm bitten off by a shark and later died in a hospital.

University of Florida researchers said shark attacks killed three people worldwide in 2014.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Will Dunham)