The Maui Fire Department Ocean Safety unit was dispatched to the Wailea district on Maui after a 10-foot-long tiger shark bit a paddleboard Feb. 5..
A group of stand-up paddleboarders were in front of the Andaz Wailea Resort when they spotted a large tiger shark. It became aggressive and bit the tail end of one ocean user’s board. Members of the group were able to fend off the shark using their paddles.
No one was injured and the group returned to shore and contacted authorities at 9:44 a.m.
Ocean safety officers dispatched two jet skis and spotted what they believed to be three tiger sharks, each at least 10-feet-long.
Ocean safety officers, Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) personnel, and DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources (DOCARE) officers have placed shark warning signs to warn people to stay out of the ocean area.
Following standard protocol, the signs will be removed Feb. 6 at noon if no sharks are spotted in the area.
Two months ago, another paddleboarder had a similar encounter 3 miles to the north.
Larry Oberto,75, was off Cove Park Dec.3, on his inflatable paddleboard when he began to paddle the 200 yards back to shore.
As he turned around, a shark hit his board and knocked into the water, but he was able to climb back onto the board. However, the inflatable board was already loosening air.
Al Gaston, a Good Samaritan, saw the action unfold and came assist Oberto. Gaston paddled back to shore on his solid board with Oberto hanging partially onto his board and partially on the sinking inflatable.
Two month before an unidentified female was off 1554 Halama Street when a shark grabbed her board. Thankfully, her board was solid, and with the encouragement of other surfers, she was able to paddle back to shore.
Eight shark attacks have been reported this year, one of which was fatal. The locations can be found on the 2020 Shark Attack Map.