Shark expert calls series of shark attacks 'coincidence'UPDATED 8:10 PM HST Aug 19, 2013Video Transcript
This was the fourth shark attack in Hawaiian waters in the past three weeks... coincidence, or cause for concern? KITV4's Justin Fujioka sat down with a shark expert. It's been the summer of the shark in Hawaii... a noticeable increase in bites. But the lure of the water is too strong for many people ... even in the same spot where a surfer was just attacked. Terry Walker: "I THOUGHT, IF THE GUY GOT BIT YESTERDAY, THE SHARK'S PROBABLY GONE. SO IT'S PROBABLY OK TO GO IN." Shark guru Kim Holland says she has a point! Kim Holland: "THE SCIENCE SAYS IT WILL BE LONG GONE. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, A SHARK THAT WAS PERHAPS 50 MILES AWAY YESTERDAY FROM THAT BEACH MIGHT BE OUT IN FRONT OF THAT BEACH TODAY." Holland says it's almost a zero chance that the same shark is behind all of the recent attacks, but that each bite was likely from a tiger shark. Kim Holland: "SCIENTIFICALLY, WE CAN'T SAY THAT THERE'S ANYTHING CONNECTED HERE. IT REALLY COULD BE JUST UNFORTUNATE COINCIDENCE, BUT COINCIDENCE NEVERTHELESS. THE NUMBERS ARE REALLY SMALL AND WITH SMALL NUMBERS, WE CAN'T SAY ANYTHING STATISTICALLY VALID." While there's no way to predict what will happen in the months ahead... previous spikes in numbers tend to settle back down. For several years, Holland has been part of a team that's tagged and tracked hundreds of sharks in Hawaiian waters. Kim Holland: "AND WHAT WE KNOW FROM THAT TRACKING IS THAT THEY MOVE LARGE DISTANCES. THEY DON'T JUST PARK IN FRONT OF ONE BEACH BUT THEY CAN GO ALL THE WAY UP AND ON THE ISLAND CHAIN." Holland says we're surrounded by sharks and he's actually surprised there aren't more attacks! Your best bet... Kim Holland: "ALWAYS GO IN THE WATER WITH A FRIEND OR SWIM OR SURF WHERE THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE JUST LIKE IN THE RECENT CASES, HAVING SOMEBODY THERE TO HELP YOU TO SHORE AND GET HELP MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE." But, Holland says when there's more people in the water... shark attack rates go up. He also says all the talk about dusk and dawn being the most dangerous times is a myth. The busiest swimming times are the riskiest. Paula?