Man Safely Returns to Shore After Surviving Shark Attack in Maui; Search for His Wife Continues

A husband and wife were snorkeling roughly 50 yards from Keawakapu Point in southwest Maui, Hawaii when they were suddenly attacked by a shark. The husband started searching for his wife after fighting off the shark, but was unable to find her amid the chaos – at which point, he decided to swim back to shore. 

Once on land, the man – who has yet to be identified – immediately notified Hawaiian authorities. A search began shortly after, both through the water and through the air. While authorities have found parts of a bathing suit and a snorkeling set, they’re unable to determine whether it belonged to the woman. 

The search began on Thursday and continued on Friday, but was eventually suspended by the United States Coast Guard. In a tweet posted on Friday, the USCG Hawaii Pacific confirmed that ‘responders conducted 17 searches over the course of 40 hours, covering 306 miles’ between Thursday and Friday.

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The man’s wife was last seen on Thursday afternoon and was wearing a blue bathing suit. Due to local policies regarding shark attacks, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources couldn’t yet share any information about the husband or wife, other than the fact a search was ongoing at the time.

With that said, not much has been revealed about the incident and the last real update the public received was on Thursday evening. In the update, Dan Dennison of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources revealed that the husband saw a shark swimming by repeatedly while snorkeling with his wife. 

As of right now, the species of shark is unknown and the shark hasn’t been sighted since the supposed attack. There were, however, several eyewitness accounts from people on the beach. Dennison added that Maui has the highest rate of human-shark encounters among the primary Hawaiian islands. 

It has now been four days since the attack, but authorities have yet to determine what happened to the woman or where she is located. They originally classified the event as a ‘possible shark-human encounter and possible shark attack. Our hearts and prayers go to the surviving husband and the families involved. 

How to Prevent a Shark Attack From Happening

During his news briefing on Thursday evening, which lasted about eight minutes, Dan Dennison gave several tips on how to prevent and/or avoid a shark attack in the future. While shark attacks can happen at any time without warning, Dennison explains that there are several precautions individuals can take. 

“Don’t go in the water if it’s murky. I have no idea what the ocean conditions were in that area this afternoon. Don’t go in after dark, before sunrise. Always swim or snorkel…in the ocean with a companion,” he said. There were eight shark attacks recorded by the Hawaii Government in 2021. 

According to Hawaii.gov, people should avoid swimming, surfing, or diving alone and under the supervision of a professional. You should also avoid entering waters with open wounds, avoid wearing high-contrast clothing, avoid excessive splashing, and be aware when dolphins are present in the water.

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While shark attacks rarely happen and almost never result in a fatality, that doesn’t mean everyone’s lucky enough to survive. Our hearts go out to anyone who has ever been impacted by a shark attack and we hope more information is released regarding the missing wife, who was allegedly attacked by a shark.

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