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shark Shark attacks surfer at Pakala

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:30 am

PAKALA — A shark attacked a surfer on the Westside of Kaua‘i Wednesday afternoon.

The shark attacked the left foot of a man from Kalaheo, age 60, at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday at the Pakala surf break, according to Kaua‘i Police spokeswoman Sarah Blane.

The man was transported in a private vehicle to Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waimea, where his condition remains unknown.

The surfer told officials he saw the shark bite his foot.

Officials estimate the shark to be at least 10 feet long, according to a report from the Department of Conservation and Resources Enforcement. DOCARE is a division of Hawai‘i’s Department of Land and Natural Resources, which manages the land where Pakala Beach is located.

Lifeguards and the Kaua‘i police were notified of the attack after the fact as no county resources were used in the situation, Blane said.

Pakala Beach is located between Port Allen and Waimea on the Westside of the island.

DOCARE is in the process of determining whether or not to close Pakala Beach and posted shark warning signs on an approximate half-mile stretch of the beach.

DOCARE officers will return today and assess the beach for any shark sightings. If nothing is seen, the signs will be removed at noon.  

Officers from DOCARE were on the beach Wednesday to warn the public.  

The most recent shark attacks on Kaua‘i were Nov. 4, when a shark bit a surfer’s board at Kekaha, and July 30 at Maha‘ulepu Beach near Po‘ipu, when a shark bit the left foot of a surfer from Lihu‘e.

The County of Kaua‘i urges anyone with a shark sighting to call the Ocean Safety Bureau at 241-4984. Generally, if there is a confirmed shark sighting, officials will close the beach.

• Laurie Cicotello, business writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or business@thegardenisland.com

© 2016 Thegardenisland.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • tunataxi posted at 7:20 am on Sun, Dec 9, 2012.

    tunataxi Posts: 747

    You're babbling....and know nothing about me. But as usual you've got an opinion about absolutely everything.

  • Cristy posted at 7:51 am on Sat, Dec 8, 2012.

    Cristy Posts: 0

    Correction: the surf spot "Tigers" is named after the late legendary Hawaiian surfer, Tiger Espere..... Not for the tiger sharks that are hanging around there.

  • MichaelMann posted at 12:08 am on Sat, Dec 8, 2012.

    MichaelMann Posts: 535

    LOL...and if they didn't send someone there to assess the situation and someone else was bitten within some short time frame, you'd likely be the first person here blaming someone for not doing something. And if it was then found that there was some nonstandard situation at work which was a cause for public concern, you'd REALLY be fired up then. Likely asking for someone's head on a platter!

    Apparently, you are some great expert on shark attacks...so why didn't you lend your expertise to the situation to keep DLNR from engaging in this activity? Answer: because it is SO MUCH EASIER to sit back and throw anonymous barbs at people. No accountability.

    It was a temporary closure. It didn't hurt ANYBODY to close the beach. You didn't indicate ANY concern for wasting money...your comments were expressing disgust over what YOU PERCEIVED as an over-reaction to the situation. You are the one who was over reacting. Now you're trying to justify it by talking about wasting 4 or 5 grand. Please.

  • Cholan posted at 11:19 pm on Fri, Dec 7, 2012.

    Cholan Posts: 4

    More swimmers = > bites. The ocean is not our element, & man is @ the mercy of it's creatures. Any waterman knows that. When man takes away a shark's food source, they go for the next available food source. Wish the victims a full recovery. Revenge on sharks for the attacks, is NOT the answer.

  • BKauai posted at 11:50 am on Fri, Dec 7, 2012.

    BKauai Posts: 41

    Frosty, you are spot on regarding the channel by Pipes. Was that you that sent the little kid to the waters edge to offer me a beer (several years ago)? Were you one of the two guys sitting on the bench that witnessed my incident? I only surf Pakala when it's really good on the point. It's too risky to be in the ocean there for any more. I don't dangle my feet for more than a transition. I always sit with feet atop my deck. The first time I surfed Pakala in 1972 I had a 4-ft shark break surface about 5 feet away. Told the local guy what happened... he shrugged "big deal."

  • Frosty posted at 8:26 am on Fri, Dec 7, 2012.

    Frosty Posts: 0

    Correct-o-mundo BKauai, Pakalas is filled with sharks and that is why they call Tigers', tigers', b/c of the massive tiger sharks that have been spotted off the camp there. The channel between Tigers' and Pipes has the largest tiger sharks ever spotted near/around the island. I have personally seen several pushing 15-18ft at least. Let's put it this way they were way bigger than our fishing boat. I rarely surf this area ever. At least half of the time I've gone to look at the water near the camp, it's filled with sharks thrashing on the reef feeding. I've seen folks out in the water with no clue that there's several sharks feeding within 50 yards of were they sit in the lineup. Honestly the wave most of the time is pretty weak, that coupled with the dirty, merky water and multitudes of sharks, basically keeps me out of the water there. A friend that works for the DLNR said that the Pakalas area has the highest concentration of sharks on the island. So enter at your own risk.

  • BKauai posted at 4:48 pm on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    BKauai Posts: 41

    Just to clear up the confusion regarding the attacks. There were two attacks in two days at Pakala. On Tuesday Val B. (age near 60) had the tail / fin area of his surfboard bitten by a large shark perhaps 10ft.+ as he was near the channel on the inside of the main peak. He was not injured. On Wednesday at 1:30 pm a surfer named Lorrin (also age near 60) was bitten by a 10ft.+ shark at Pakala. My friend who drove by at that time said only one vehicle was parked along the highway. So he was either surfing alone or with very few others at the time. Same shark? Maybe. There are always several sharks, if not several hundred, within close proximity to Pakala surf site 24/7/365. Guaranteed. Just because you don't see them doesn't mean they are not there. They are always there. Always have been and always will be. Pakala is simply loaded with sharks, period. It's amazing that there have only been a handful(+) attacks over the years considering how popular and sharky Pakala is.

  • norm smith posted at 11:32 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    norm smith Posts: 1

    Amakua comes to mind. I hope this won't lead to shark hunts.... to find the "needle in the haystack". Pray for our brothers and sisters of the sea..... and by the way... This wasn't an attack..... poor choice of words.

  • oingo boingo posted at 10:46 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    oingo boingo Posts: 6

    thats why they say dont swim after big rain in dirty water

  • tunataxi posted at 10:12 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    tunataxi Posts: 747

    Lol....what sort of assessment exactly?? Fly 5 DLNR guys over from Honolulu to stand on the beach or fly over in a helicopter ??? Yea, blow 4 or 5 grand to look at the murky water and decide what's happenning below the surface....brilliant !!!! Pakala's is murky 360 days of the year and both ledges are full of sharks. Why do you think they call the outermost reef "Tiger's" ??? It's nature.... sharks are everywhere. It's Obvious to anyone that spends time on or in the Ocean.

  • MichaelMann posted at 8:54 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    MichaelMann Posts: 535

    Is it not obvious that they were talking about a temporary closure so they can assess the situation?????

  • tunataxi posted at 6:49 am on Thu, Dec 6, 2012.

    tunataxi Posts: 747

    Close Pakala's because of one shark attack?? The whole island is surrounded by water...sharks live in the water...might as well close all the beaches


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