A kayaker died on Monday morning after a shark attacked him in the waters off of Maui.
The man, possibly a tourist, was fishing with a friend when the shark attack happened. His friend managed to get him to a nearby snorkeling boat, but the man died before reaching shore.
It is suspected that the man had been dangling his legs in the water when the shark bit off one, or possibly both, of his feet.
Hawaii experienced strong rains over the weekend, and murky waters are known to both attract and confuse sharks who often can't tell the difference between prey and humans.
"Although the incident took place some distance from shore," a Department of Land and Natural Resources statement said, "county lifeguards and officials from the State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) have closed beaches from Makena Landing to the surf area known as 'dumps' until noon tomorrow (Tuesday)."
Maui, which is experiencing an unprecedented uptick in shark attacks, saw another attack just three days ago. On Friday, the beach from the Kihei Boat Ramp to the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea was closed after a snorkeler was bit in the leg by a shark.
The woman had been following a sea turtle about 60 feet off shore when she felt the shark come up behind her and bite her calf. While the bite was deep, the attack was not fatal.
In an effort to understand Maui's increase in shark attacks, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System and the University of Hawaii are tagging sharks off the coasts of Maui and tracking their movements. The sharks' locations are then transmitted and marked on a website so a cautious and curious public can follow their locations.
"This information," according to PacIOOS, "will help determine whether sharks around Maui are more resident (more 'site-attached') than they are around the other Hawaiian Islands and whether they exhibit greater use of inshore habitats [aka, bays] than in other locations."
While the site currently only has seven sharks tagged, the team is working to get as many as possible in their system.
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