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Raleigh families witness aftermath of Hawaii shark attack, authorities search for missing woman


KIHEI, HAWAII — Several families from the Raleigh area visiting Hawaii received quite the scare Thursday about a possible deadly shark attack off the coast of their hotel.

WRAL News is hosting 28 local clients and their family members in Maui for several days.

Joel Davis, vice president and general manager of WRAL/FOX 50, said the group spent some time on the water Thursday morning on paddleboards and swimming.

It was just after lunch time when Coast Guard search teams and local authorities put up signs and told people to clear the area as they looked for the couple involved in the shark attack.

The local NBC affiliate KHNL is reporting that the husband told authorities they fought off the shark, and he returned safely to shore. The woman never returned to shore, but a snorkel and a bathing suit were found.

“Fortunately, when this all transpired around 1 p.m. here, the locals were out of the water … the report from the hotel staff is that a man and woman were on the water. There was a tiger shark spotted,” Davis said. “The man made it out safely, but the woman did not and they are out searching.”

Davis said the hotel is in the Wailea Beach area of Maui on the southwestern side of the island. The area is full of large hotels and thousands of visitors.

Authorities say the “shark warning” signs will be up until at least noon Friday.

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