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Maui, Hawaii: snorkeler missing after shark encounter


A tiger shark circled a swimming couple off the coast of Maui, then the woman disappeared – and never reappeared. Only her snorkel gear and a scrap of swimsuit have been found so far.

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Tiger Shark


Franco Banfi / imago images / Nature Picture Library

Two days after the suspected shark attack, the US Coast Guard tweeted that the search for a 60-year-old snorkeler at Kewawakapu Beach would be halted.

17 attempts were made within 40 hours and almost 500 kilometers were covered - but Kristi Allen remained missing.

Only her snorkel gear and part of a bathing suit could be found on the beach.

She and her husband, Blake, from Bellingham, Washington, vacationed in Maui, Hawaii, in early December.

There, in front of Kewawakapu Beach, she died on December 8th in a shark encounter.

After Blake Allen went into the water, he noticed an "aggressive tiger shark".

The husband told officials at the Department of Land and Natural Resources, according to Hawaii News Now.

The couple didn't snorkel right next to each other, and he only saw his wife "occasionally."

Then he noticed that the shark was circling him.

He searched the surface, didn't find her, and suspected that she might have dove to the bottom of the sea.

»Red Cloud« in the water

The husband went on to say that the shark swam away.

When the animal came back, he saw something red on its gills.

At that point, people on the beach shouted at him to get out of the water because there had been a shark attack.

Blake Allen escaped to shore.

The witness who saw a "red cloud" in the water called 911.

The Maui County Fire Department searched the sea with a lifeboat and a private boat, with a fire department helicopter and the Coast Guard helping from the air.

They searched until dark, reported "Hawaii News Now" - in vain.

Kristi Allen had just started surfing, as she wrote on her Facebook account.

The massage therapist and life coach shared how much she was looking forward to her vacation: »Chase dreams!

I've wanted to learn to surf for years.

I am determined to create a life that I love big and small.«

Another tiger shark incident a short time later

Just days later, a five-foot tiger shark attacked a swimmer off the Big Island.

The 69-year-old man from Waikoloa was swimming in Anaehoomalu Bay in the morning, Hawaii News Now reported.

Witnesses said the man was about 50 to 70 meters from shore when the shark "got a good bit of the left side of his buttocks."

"It was brutal," said one observer.

Investigators said the swimmer successfully fended off the shark with a dive knife.

Witnesses added that nearby paddleboarders helped pull the man out of the water.

He was taken to a hospital in serious condition, but his condition later stabilized, police said.

The beach was initially closed.

Male tiger sharks can reach a length of around six meters, but most specimens stay under five meters.

Only a few females are 5.50 meters long or larger.

This shark species is said to be one of the most dangerous for humans.

When attacked, they are often fatal.

Tiger sharks do not try bites, but swallow their prey immediately.

Nevertheless, the risk of shark accidents is generally low.


Source: spiegel

All life articles on 2022-12-24

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