Fatal shark attack rocks Maui, Hawaii, as researchers sound the alarm

A man died Saturday morning in Hawaii after sustaining what authorities called “injuries from a shark encounter” off the coast of Maui.

Police responded about 11.19am local time to a beach area off the Hana Highway in Paia.

Officers used a jet ski to bring a 39-year-old man to shore who had been injured in the “shark encounter,” Maui police said in a news release.

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After bringing the man to shore, first responders performed “life-saving measures” until medics arrived to transport him to the Maui Memorial Medical Centre, according to the news release.

The man later died from his injuries, police said. Authorities said they were withholding his identity for 24 hours “to allow his family an opportunity to notify their extended family and friends.”

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Researchers have noticed what appears to be a higher likelihood of shark bites in Hawaii from October through December, according to the Division of Aquatic Resources, part of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Shark attacks, particularly fatal ones, are rare: On average, sharks kill five people per year in unprovoked attacks, CNN previously reported.

The odds of being fatally attacked by one of the carnivorous fish are less than 1 in 4 million, according to the International Shark Attack File. Experts attribute many shark bites to cases of mistaken identity, particularly in waters with low visibility.

According to records, the last fatal shark encounter in Hawaii occurred when a snorkeler was killed off Maui on December 8, 2022.

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