California Tourist, 65, Dies in Apparent Shark Attack During Hawaii Vacation
- May 27, 2019
- No Comments
A 65-year-old tourist from California died after an apparent shark attack off the coast of a Hawaii resort Saturday, PEOPLE can confirm.
The Maui Fire Department and the Department of Land and Natural Resources tells PEOPLE in a statement that a witness reported that the man “was swimming about 60 yards offshore” of the Ka’anapali Beach Park on Maui.
According to KITV 4, the man was pulled to shore unconscious by a Jet Ski and received CPR, but died of his injuries.
Witness Allison Keller told Hawaii News Now that the man, a California resident, was vacationing with his wife, and appeared to have suffered wounds to his leg and wrist.
RELATED VIDEO: A Shark Expert Tells You How to Stay Safe in the Water This Summer
“As we got closer, I saw some blood on his stomach and then I got looking a little bit more and his wrist, it looked like the skin on his wrist was just torn off,” she said. “And then I got looking closer and his entire left leg from his knee down was just missing. There was no blood or anything.”
Officials said the water at the time of the incident was calm and clear, with flat to one-foot surf, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The attack is reportedly the sixth shark attack this year, and the first fatal one in the state since 2015.
RELATED: 13-Year-Old Boy in Serious Condition After Being Attacked by 10-Foot Shark in San Diego County
“In an island that’s surrounded by water, human and shark conflicts do occur from time to time,” Chief Jason Redulla of Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resource Enforcement told ABC News.
“There is always the potential for conflict between animal and human and we just have to be aware of that and respect that,” he added.
The DLNR tells PEOPLE that warning signs have been put up “for 1/2 mile on either side of the incident area and will remain in place until at least noon tomorrow. At that time if an assessment shows no signs of sharks the signs will come down.”
The Maui Fire Department did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.