KAILUA-KONA — Laaloa Beach Park, also known as Magic Sands, was closed due to a confirmed shark sighting Wednesday afternoon.
The shark was sighted shortly before 4 p.m. in waters off the beach park on Alii Drive, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense.
Lifeguard Ricky Alvarez first spotted the shark about 200 yards off shore on the southern edge of the beach.
“It came in pretty fast,” said Alvarez. “Within seconds it was about 20 yards off shore. That’s when we got everyone out of the water.”
Based on his observation, Alvarez said it was a tiger shark about 12 feet long.
He continued to watch the shark as it headed north and back to sea.
The Hawaii County beach park will remain closed until an assessment is conducted this morning and the Department of Land and Natural Resources gives the all clear.
This is the second time this month that a shark sighting in Laaloa Bay has prompted the closure of the beach park. On Aug. 1, the beach was closed after a 12- to 15-foot tiger shark was spotted about 20 yards offshore and attacked a sea turtle.
Last Tuesday a woman was attacked by what is believed to be a reef shark while swimming in Kealakekua Bay.