On Saturday, a 51-year-old woman suffered a serious shark bite in Hawaii. The woman was swimming or snorkeling in Pāʻia Beach Park when she was attacked around 4 PM. She was only about 40 feet from the shore when the incident happened. When bystanders saw her struggling in the water, they brought her back to the shore, where firefighters were waiting. Shortly after, the paramedics took over, and the police and lifeguards started warning everyone to stay out of the water.
Michelle Benedict, at Sea Life Park Aquarist Supervisor 2, said, “When a predator is pursuing a meal, often times in the wild, they’ll grab at the first thing that they sense or see that could be a potential meal. In cases of accidental shark bites, often it’s just that case of mistaken identity.” The night before the accident, the area had heavy rain. This caused the water to be murky, which is the perfect hunting condition for sharks. Benedict also says that when sharks mistake us for a meal and bite, rarely do they come back to finish us off.
Due to the serious shark bite in Hawaii, three beaches were closed in the area until Monday morning. If you do not want to be a shark attack victim, do not swim in murky waters. To avoid a shark attack, you should also stay close to shore and ensure that other swimmers or bystanders are around. Sharks have poor vision and identify prey through motion and brightness contrast. You are also more likely to attract a shark if you are snorkeling or swimming and splashing the water.
In this case, the woman was lucky that people on the beach were there to help. She was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where she is in critical condition.