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Search underway for missing snorkeler in Hawaii amid fears of possible shark attack

Authorities in Hawaii are searching for a woman who went missing in the waters of South Maui on Thursday while snorkeling with her husband.

Officials began their search after the woman’s husband called 911 just before noon local time (5 p.m. ET) on Thursday to report that he had seen a shark swim by repeatedly and could not find his wife after they had gone snorkeling about 50 yards off Keawakapu Point, Dan Dennison, senior communications manager of the Hawaii Land and Natural Resources told reporters late Thursday.

First responders from the fire department, Coast Guard and the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are searching the scene in the water and by air.

Rescuers search for a missing snorkeler at Keawakapu Point in Kihei, Hawaii
Rescuers search for a missing snorkeler at Keawakapu Point in Kihei, Hawaii on Dec. 8, 2022.KHNL

Further information on the possible victim’s identity, age or hometown where not immediately available.

Authorities urged people to steer clear of the area where the search is underway, and said that shark warning signs from the Mana Kai Maui resort to Ulua Point will remain in place until at least noon local time on Friday.

Maui “tends to have a lot of shark activity,” Dennison said Thursday.

Data from the Hawaii Land and Natural Resources shows that there have been six recorded shark incidents this year, one of which occurred in Maui, not including yesterday’s incident. The most recent incident that occurred in Maui prior to yesterday’s incident took place in September, when a snorkeler lost their left arm and two fingers on their right hand after encountering a shark, the data shows.