One hospitalized after shark attack; decision to reopen area beaches to come Sunday morning

KAILUA-KONA — A 25-year-old man was hospitalized with injuries to his hand and leg Saturday morning after a shark attack in the waters near Kukio Beach, said the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Following the incident, which DLNR said occurred at about 9:30 a.m., Hawaii County Civil Defense announced that public beach access in the area was closed and remained closed through Saturday. DLNR spokesman Dan Dennison said a decision to reopen the beaches based on observations will be made today.

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Hawaii Fire Department Acting West Hawaii Battalion Chief Michael Grace said the man was paddleboarding with his father when he was bumped off the board and bitten by a shark.

The man was about 100-150 yards off shore at the time, according to a department release.

Members of the outdoor pursuits staff from the Kukio Community Association, Grace said, responded by taking a four-person canoe out, recovering the man and bringing him back to shore.

Dennison, who said the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources was notified of the incident, said the man was 25 and that he sustained multiple injuries to his hand and leg.

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Grace said the man, the only one reported to have sustained injuries in the incident, was taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital in critical condition and later flown to The Queen’s Medical Center later in the day. His condition at that point was unknown.

Dennison also said standard procedure is to set up beach closure signs to warn ocean goers up to one mile on either side of the incident location until noon the following day.

  1. Mike Lumi March 31, 2018 4:28 pm

    The State should know by now that statistically, shark attacks happen around this time. Most Watermen agree that this is due to Tiger sharks aggressiveness when pregnant. Although there are no life guards, Tourist and locals should be warned about this. That could be accomplished by having Hualalai and Kukio security printing that information on the parking passes every one needs to access the Beach.

    70 yards off Kukio and your in Blue water.
    I pray and hope this guy makes it through. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.


    1. slimjim March 31, 2018 7:36 pm

      You got the statistics on this? Please share


    2. Pest Outwest April 1, 2018 5:29 am

      According to a number of sources I accessed by Googling “tiger shark pupping season”, that occurs in the fall, which has always been my understanding. From a KITV article:

      “Hawaiians have long known that fall is pupping season for tiger sharks, and the ‘fall spike’ in shark bites may well be linked to this natural, annual phenomenon . . . ”

      “According to Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, most shark incidents tend to happen in October and November, which coincides with tiger shark pupping season from September through early November. Since 1980, there have been 25 shark bites or attacks in
      October and 13 in November.”

      From a University of Hawaii article:

      “Both the timing of this migration and tiger shark pupping season coincide with Hawaiian oral traditions suggesting that late summer and fall, when the wiliwili tree blooms, are a period of increased risk of shark bites,” said co-author Carl Meyer of UH Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology.”


      1. slimjim April 1, 2018 8:35 am

        waiting for my comment to be approved by whoever moderates the comment section, you can google “shark attack statistics Hawaii by month” and you’ll get a link to the dlnr website which has a breakdown. Most attacks occur in October and November with a relatively even distribution over the rest of the year.


  2. Michael M April 1, 2018 5:54 am

    Full moon maybe?


    1. 4whatitsworth April 1, 2018 6:15 am

      The big fish sure bite in Kona on a full moon, especially at the tide change which wold have been about 9:00.

      If you want to catch a fish with you surf board or swimming go at full moon, high tide and make a lot of splashing and your chances will be good.


    2. Glen Folkard - GWS Survivor. April 2, 2018 9:36 am

      Good observation Michael.


    1. Glen Folkard - GWS Survivor. April 2, 2018 9:35 am

      And if you are eaten in half?


  3. Longleveler April 1, 2018 12:34 pm

    I my personal experience SCUBA diving near sharks is that they will swim away if I stare at them. Graphics of large eyes could be put on surfboards, and paddleboards to encourage them to go away.


  4. Glen Folkard - GWS Survivor. April 2, 2018 9:35 am

    Welcome to the Agenda 2030′ Survivors Group buddy. Beware of shark “advocacy” and the Stockholm Syndrome they will try and offer you soon enough. Enjoy your new Sharklife brah.


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