Shark attacks Maui girl
Witnesses say the Kihei teen was pulled under in shallow water and bitten on her calf
WAILUKU » A 15-year-old Kihei girl was attacked by a shark yesterday afternoon -- the second time in less than a week in which a person has been bitten by a shark in South Maui waters.
Maui police Sgt. Natalie Ching said a shark's teeth marks were visible as the girl lay on a table at the beach after she had been bitten on her right calf.
"It was pretty shredded, from what people were describing," Ching said.
The attack happened near the shoreline in about one to three feet of murky water at Makena State Park at 4:39 p.m., Ching said.
The girl was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she was treated yesterday evening in the emergency room.
The parents of the girl declined yesterday evening to release information about her medical condition.
Two boys, ages 17 and 15, who were with the girl said they saw a gray shark about 5 to 7 feet long attack her and pull her down.
"She didn't see the shark. ... One of the boys said he had to grab her and pull her out," Ching said.
A beachgoer tried to stop the bleeding before paramedics arrived.
Police and firefighters cleared the beach shortly after the attack, and the beaches and nearby coastline, including Makena Landing, were expected to remain closed at least until noon today, when water conditions are expected to be reviewed again.
The attack upon the girl occurred a few miles south of a diving place known as "Five Graves," where the body of San Jose resident Anthony Moore was found Friday, bitten by a shark.
Moore, 45, was last seen Thursday afternoon as he planned to go free-diving in the Makena area.
Maui police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said that so far, an autopsy has been unable to conclusively confirm if Moore was killed by the shark. Cuomo said it is possible that Moore was dead before his body was bitten by the shark.
State Shark Task Force official Randy Honebrink said based on what he has heard, the shark involved in the attack yesterday was different from the shark that bit Moore.
Honebrink said a "good-size shark" bit Moore, while the shark that attacked the girl did not sound like a "real big shark."
"I would be more inclined to think that there were two separate incidents that occurred close together," Honebrink said.
"At this point we aren't looking at treating it any differently than a normal shark bite incident."
John Naughton, marine biologist of the National Marine Fisheries Service, said officials are still gathering information on what attacked the 15-year-old girl.
"If it was a shark that bit her, it was considerably smaller than the one feeding on the remains of the diver. The other shark was probably a tiger shark," Naughton said.
Makena State Park and nearby beaches were closed from Friday through Saturday noon after Moore's body was found by a kayaker at Five Graves.
Moore's rental car was found by police Thursday night in a parking lot at Makena Landing, after his wife reported that he failed to return from his planned diving trip.
The last fatal shark attack in Hawaii waters occurred in April 2004 when 57-year-old surfer Willis McInnis was killed about 200 yards off Kahana in West Maui.