shark incident at Honolua Bay Maui Pro surf contest

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The Maui Women’s Pro surf contest was put on hold today after a recreational surfer was apparently bitten by a shark at Honolua Bay.

Shark warning signs were posted for one mile to either side of the bay, from DT Fleming Beach Park to Punalau Beach, also known as Windmills, after a 56-year-old man from Lahaina encountered a shark this morning as he was paddling out from the old ramp in the bay, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a press release.

The man was taken to the hospital and admitted for surgery.

DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement reported water clarity was good.

The incident occurred before the scheduled 10 a.m. start of the second day of competition at the Women’s Maui Pro surf contest, which was then called off by the World Surf League, the organizer of the event.

In a video announcement on WSL’s website, CEO Erik Logan said the contest had been put on hold indefinitely.

Following standard protocol after a shark incident, warning signs will remain in place until at least noon Wednesday, when Maui County and State personnel will meet to ndetermine if there is any further shark presence, DLNR said, adding it was unknown if others were in the water.

“Based on my initial briefing, the victim was already on shore and aid was being rendered when our personnel arrived on scene,” Ryan Yatsushiro, public information officer for Maui County Fire Department, told the Star-Advertiser in an email.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this victim,” WSL’s Logan said.

The Maui Women’s Pro by ROXY holding period continues through Dec. 18.

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