The Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) reports that a 75-year-old man received wounds to his leg after 10 a.m. in an apparent shark encounter on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The Hawai‘i County Fire Department received the report from an isolated area between ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay and Keawaiki in the Waikoloa area of North Hawai‘i.
The man and three others report they were paddling outrigger canoes about a half-mile off shore when one of the boaters noticed the victim had stopped paddling. The victim said a shark first bit the hull of the canoe and knocked him into the water. He said he fended off the shark with his paddle. He could not identify the shark species but estimated it was the same length as his twelve-foot-long canoe. His fellow paddlers helped him get back to shore and a friend took him to North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.
The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) reports the fire department conducted a helicopter fly-over of the area but no sharks were spotted. Another fly-over is scheduled for Wednesday morning to ensure sharks have not moved into more heavily used areas. Due to the ruggedness and remoteness of the area no warning signs have been posted. It is not typically visited and requires a two-mile hike in to reach the coastline.