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Wednesday, September 22, 1999



Kayaker silent about
missing wife, shark attack

By Gary Kubota
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

WAILUKU -- Six months after he related the harrowing story of how his wife died in a shark attack after their kayak was swept out to sea, Manouchehr Monazzami-Taghadomi says he's referring all news media queries to his attorney.

But Monazzami, who works as a computer consultant in Sunnyvale, Calif., is willing to talk about the need for posting warning signs so that other kayakers do not repeat the same mistake.

"I'm sure it would help a lot if there was a sign. It's going to help everybody," said Monazzami. "Those winds came from nowhere."

Monazzami told police he and his wife came to Maui on a belated honeymoon and were using a rented kayak off west Maui when strong winds carried them away from shore and his wife was attacked at night by a shark.

He said his wife, Nahid Davoodabai, 29, lost an arm in the March 18 attack and died on the kayak before being washed away by a wave.

Monazzami said he drifted to the island of Kahoolawe, where he found a telephone in a bunker and called for help.

Robert Oushalem, an attorney representing Monazzami, declined to comment on any civil proceedings.

Oushalem, who practices civil law, said he doesn't know of any criminal pursuit of the incident.

He said he became involved through a friend of Monazzami to help him fend off the news media at a time when he was grieving.

Police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said the case will continue to be classified as a missing person until investigators are able to find some evidence to justify changing it.

Cuomo said the evidence, including the kayak, does not prove or disprove a shark attack.

"I think the prudent thing for us is to classify it as a missing person until we find the body," Cuomo said.

Under state law, a person who has been continuously absent for five years and whose absence cannot be explained after a diligent search may be declared dead for civil purposes.



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