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The Honolua Bay in Hawaii experienced a surfer being attacked by a shark Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, causing a surfing competition to be suspended. From the coast of Maui, the 56-year-old man was paddling out when the attack took place.
Officials had not yet identified the victim. He was quickly taken to a nearby hospital and taken in for surgery. The next day he succumbed to his injuries at Maui Memorial Medical Center.
Professional Surfing Competition
The shark attack accompanied the World Surf League Women’s Professional Surfing Competition that was scheduled to take place in the same area as the attack. But officials stated that the victim was not an event participant.
Not only was the Maui surfing event canceled, but the permit for the contest was also suspended by the state’s Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation. They also posted shark warnings in Maui on both sides of the Honolua Bay.
Unprovoked Shark Attacks
Unprovoked shark attacks do not happen as much in Maui as people think they do. From 2013-2017 research has indicated that on average only 84 unprovoked shark attacks occurred. More recent research has seen a spike in shark attacks in certain parts of the world. The eastern coast and southern Australia’s shark attack rates have just about doubled in past years. Maui included, but why?
Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research says:
Shark bites are strongly correlated to the number of people and number of sharks in the water at the same time, The more sharks and people there are in one place, the greater the chance of them bumping into each other.
Written by Omari Jahi
NBC News: Shark attacks surfer in Hawaii, Maui Pro competition suspended, Wilson Wong
Yahoo! Entertainment: Man, 56, Bit by Shark While Paddling on Surfboard in Hawaii Dies from His Injuries, Joelle Goldstein
Yahoo! News: Nearby shark attack on man stops Hawaii surfing contest, leaves 17-inch bite in board, Mark Price
BBC: The real reasons why sharks attack humans, Richard Gray
Featured Image by Joe Parks Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Shacktown123 Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License