LIHU’E — A sighting of a reportedly “aggressive” shark at Koloa’s Brennecke’s Beach on Wednesday afternoon led Kaua‘i ocean officials to advise people not to swim in the waters until Thursday afternoon when the area was reassessed as safe.
According to the county’s Ocean Safety Bureau (OSB), the shark was between 6 and 7 feet in length and “acting aggressive” in the water.
The OSB believes the shark’s aggressive behavior was caused by a school of fish near the shore.
“South District OSB supervisor made the call to close the beach due to the aggressive nature of the shark,” an OSB official said in an email to The Garden Island on Thursday.
The shark was reported to have been seen on Wednesday afternoon by tourists, along with a fisherman.
The OSB said the area was reassessed two times the following day, on Thursday, and the warning signs would be removed that afternoon.
According to the OSB, there have been three shark sightings on Kaua‘i this year.
“Whenever you’re in the ocean, there is potential to have contact with a shark or other marine life. It’s their domain, we’re just visitors,” said the OSB official.
According to data from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, there have been four shark incidences in Hawai‘i so far in 2023. They were documented to have occurred on O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island, Molokai and Maui.
The last reported shark incident on Kaua‘i occurred less than a year ago at Kalapaki Beach in Lihue on Oct. 25, 2022. Visitor Scott Hill was snorkeling in murky water about 80 yards from the shore when an unknown species of shark was reported to have bit off a chunk of his flipper.
The DLNR reported eight total shark incidents in 2022, with one of those incidents, which occurred on Maui, being fatal. According to the DLNR, “the chances of being bitten by a shark are less than one in a million.”
Source: The Garden Island