Swimmer hospitalized after ‘brutal’ shark bite off Hawaii Island

PUAKO, Hawaii (KHNL/Gray News) – Authorities in Hawaii say a 68-year-old man was bitten by a shark while in the water Tuesday morning.

According to the Hawaii County Police Department, the man was swimming off Anaehoomalu Bay at about 8:15 a.m. when a 12-foot tiger shark bit him on the lower left torso.

Witnesses said the man was about 50 to 70 yards offshore when the shark “got a good chunk” out of the man’s left lower side.

“It was hectic,” witness Anthony Singh said. “It was brutal.”

Investigators said the swimmer attempted to fend off the shark with a diving knife and the shark released the swimmer.

KHNL reports witnesses said that nearby paddleboarders helped pull the man out of the water. Once onshore, they said the man was coherent and responsive.

“Guess it’s just wrong place, wrong time,” witness Anna Kathryn Sengupta said. “Our friend was just out there yesterday.”

Officials said the Waikoloa man was taken to Queens North Hawaii Community Hospital with serious injuries. Later in the afternoon, they said the man did have stable vital signs and was expected to be transported to Oahu for further treatment.

Anaehoomalu Bay remained closed on Tuesday after the incident with warning signs posted.

This was the second reported shark bite in Hawaii in recent days.

Last week, a woman went missing after she reportedly suffered a shark bite while she was snorkeling with her husband off South Maui.

Anyone with further information on the incident was asked to contact Officer Ansel Robinson at 808-887-3080.