A woman snorkeling off Maui’s southern shore on Palauea Beach was attacked by a (likely tiger) shark yesterday evening. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton was also attacked off Hawaiian shores in 2003. However, her attack occurred off Kauai’s north shore. The parallel between the two: the attacker, believed to be of the same species, took both women’s arms off just below the shoulder.
This attack is the seventh of the year in Hawaii and the fourth in Maui. 2012 saw 11 shark attacks all year, but despite the frequency with which these attacks occur, there have been two fatalities in the last 21 years–one in 2004 and one in 1992. Tiger sharks seem to be the species primarily responsible for attacks on humans, both fatal and non-fatal, around Hawaii for some time.
The woman has since been transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center. She is reported to be in critical condition.