A California man died Saturday in Hawaii’s first fatal shark attack since 2015, prompting officials to post shark warning signs.
The 65-year-old was swimming about 60 yards from the shore of Ka’anapali Beach Park on Maui when a shark attacked, authorities said. Multiple Sacramento television stations reported Sunday night that the man who died was Thomas Smiley, a longtime local optometrist.
Witness Allison Keller told Hawaii News Now that rescuers pulled an unconscious man ashore, then performed CPR.
“As we got closer, I saw some blood on his stomach and then I got looking a little bit more and his wrist, it looked like the skin on his wrist was just torn off,” Keller said. “And then I got looking closer and his entire left leg from his knee down was just missing.”
Shark attacks: How common are they?
Hawaii’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement did not release the victim’s name or say where he lived in California. The species of the involved shark was not confirmed, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.
The last fatal shark attack in Hawaii was in 2015, when a snorkeler off Maui was killed. Other shark incidents this year include a tiger shark in Hanalei Bay injuring a surfer’s left leg and a cookiecutter shark in the Kaiwi Channel biting a swimmer’s back, the Star Advertiser reported.
Around the world in 2018, 66 unprovoked shark attacks were confirmed, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File. People have a one in 3.7 million chance of dying from a shark attack in their lifetime, according to the museum, compared to a 1-in-84 chance of being involved in a fatal car accident.
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Contributing: The Associated Press