Tiger shark prowls North Shore
Lifeguards will scout the North Shore this morning for a large tiger shark after the 12- to 15-foot predator was seen near Chun's Reef and Laniakea yesterday.
Warning signs were posted yesterday and lifeguards said most people stayed out of the water.
But the surf was small yesterday.
A swell of 8- to 10-foot waves is expected today and die-hard surfers say they won't be deterred, even if there's a shark in the water.
"I don't care," said Philippe Mettout, who said he plans to surf today at Chun's Reef.
"If it's my time I'm ready to go," said Mettout, owner of the Planet Surf store on the North Shore.
A Honolulu police officer spotted the shark and notified the city's Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division at about 12:30 p.m. yesterday. Lifeguards posted warning signs after a police helicopter confirmed the shark swimming a half-mile offshore at Chun's Reef, said Jim Howe, Ocean Safety operations chief.
Richard Jensen, who works at Haleiwa Surf N Sea, wasn't surprised when he heard about shark sighting yesterday. He said he saw a tiger shark at least 10 feet long on Thursday.
"I saw it the other day at Laniakea. He's been cruising up and back for almost the whole week," he said. "It was kind of staying under the water -- 8 feet deep -- so you just see this gigantic dark mass."
The shark was wider than he could wrap his arms around and swam slowly 10 to 20 yards away.
Jensen moved away and warned others in the water.
Suzy Stewart, a North Shore resident and surfing instructor, said other surfers told her they saw a large shark at Laniakea on Thursday and Friday.
"I still went out there and surfed," she said. "Us surfers, we're crazy."
Howe said lifeguards did not receive any shark sightings at Laniakea before yesterday that they could confirm.
Even if a shark is seen, lifeguards can only advise ocean users to stay out of the water, he said.
Lifeguards will post signs again today if a shark is seen.
"There's something out there and we're keeping a close eye on it," Howe said.