November 5, 2010 – KOHALA COAST, Hawaii
By Stephanie Salazar
The first ‘winter’ ocean swell that closed some Keaukaha beach parks brought out the surfers, but the state and county are urging caution for beach parks along the Kohala coast, due to continued shark sightings.
John Kahiapo of the Department of Land and Natural Resources Aquatics Division said this is historically the time of year with frequent sightings of large tiger sharks coming close to shore. Thursday, Anaehoomalu was closed when a shark was seen 20-yards off shore feeding on a turtle.
The county fire department conducted flyovers to confirm sightings reported by hotel personnel and beach vendors.
The public is advised to be watchful and cautious. The Kohala Coast beaches will remain open when there are no confirmed sightings.
In 2008 there were also multiple confirmed sightings of sharks ranging in size from six to 15 feet in the area extending up to Kawaihae Harbor, and at that time, the beach parks were closed at intermittent intervals.