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Hawaii closes Maui coastal waters after deadly shark attack

Wed., Dec. 4, 2013

Hawaii officials have shut down an area of water just off the southern coast of Maui after a kayaker was killed in an apparent shark attack.

It was the second such death in Maui this year, continuing a worrisome trend for Hawaii after a decade of relative quiet that has been disturbed by an increase in shark attacks over the last two years.

On Monday, Patrick Briney, 57, of Stevenson, Wash., was fishing and kayaking with a friend somewhere between Maui and the tiny island of Molokini when his friend heard him cry out, according to the Maui County Police Department.

The friend paddled to Briney and found him bleeding profusely from an apparent shark bite on his right leg, police said. Unable to stop the bleeding, the pair sought help from a chartered snorkeling boat, which took Briney to a boat ramp ashore. Briney died before he could be taken to a hospital.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed beaches in the surrounding area until further notice, officials said Tuesday.

The attack came three days after an unidentified woman was attacked (but survived) at Keawakapu Beach about five miles to the north, and four months after a German tourist died after her arm was bitten off while she was snorkeling.

The attacks represent the continuing escalation of a worrisome trend: There have been at least eight shark attacks around Maui in 2013, with 13 shark attacks overall reported around the state, according to state data and recent reports.

In 2013, Maui victims have been attacked while swimming, snorkeling, surfing, and now kayaking.


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