The Department of Land and Natural Resources has closed the nearshore waters of Makena State Park on Wednesday, as of noon, due to a report of a large shark exhibiting aggressive behavior which chased two spear fishermen out of the water.
The area closed is from Ahihi Bay to Makena Landing, a mile in either direction from the location of the report.
The initial report made by the divers to lifeguards at the beach park was that an 8-to-10-foot-long Galapagos shark made several passes at them while they were spearfishing close to shore off Black Sand beach at Makena.
They tried to fend it off with their spears but the shark kept coming, so they let it take their catch of speared fish and headed back to shore at Little Beach.
"We are closing the beach because of the reported aggressive behavior of the shark that was made to lifeguards," said Randy Awo, DOCARE Chief. "This is occurring in the same vicinity of Monday's fatal shark bite incident."
"Beachgoers, swimmers, fishers/divers are advised to comply with this closure in the interest of public safety. The state recommends that spear fishermen with speared fish on a line should be extra cautious," Awo said.
DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement officers are responding to investigate, and will work with Maui County Ocean Safety lifeguards to post shark sighted warning signs and notify the public to keep out of the water.
Waters will be closed Wednesday until sunset, and at the end of day DLNR officials will make an assessment and determine whether to maintain the closure from sunrise Thursday until noon, per the state shark response protocol.
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