Surfer Attacked by 12-Foot Galapagos Shark in Maui, Launched into the Air

On Monday, a surfer was attacked by a shark in Maui.

The 45-year-old woman was surfing Tavares Bay, when a 10-to-12-foot Galapagos Shark attacked, biting her board, launching her in the air, and severing her leash.

Luckily, the woman got away with only minor injuries; however, following the incident, officials closed the beach from Ho‘okipa to Baldwin Beach Park.

Per a report from the Department of Land and Natural Resources:


“Shark warning signs are up from Ho‘okipa to Baldwin Beach Park after a 45-year-old Haiku woman sustained minor scrapes in an apparent encounter with a shark at around 1:00 p.m. today.

“Maui Fire Department Ocean Safety Division, Maui Police, and officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) worked together to place warning signs. Under established protocols, beaches one mile on either side of Tavares Bay where the incident occurred, are under warning until noon tomorrow. At that time if there are no signs of shark presence the signs will be removed, and people can go back into the water.

“The woman reported to authorities that while she was surfing a shark she described as a 10-12-foot-long Galapagos shark bit her board and launched her into the air. She landed on the shark which then bit through her board leash. She was able to get back onto her board and swim to shore without further incident.

“This happened in three to four feet of water, with limited clarity due to high surf. Lifeguards and DOCARE officers will survey the area in the morning.”

For protocol on what happens following a shark sighting or incident, check out this explainer video from the Hawaii DLNR:


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