KOHALA COAST, Hawaii: Shark sightings – including an underwater close encounter that was filmed – has forced the closure of Waialea Bay and Hapuna Beach along the Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.
From the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources:
Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) closed Waialea Bay and Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area (SRA) today due shark sightings on Sunday, July 24. Given the recent shark sightings close to shore, DLNR staff deemed it necessary to close the park areas through noon on Tuesday, July 26. Both park entrance gates will be closed.
“The closures of these two areas are precautionary measures to ensure safety of the public,” says William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson.
According to Hawai’i County Civil Defense, today three tiger sharks were seen in this morning‘s flyover, sizes ranged from 12 – 14 feet in length. Two tiger sharks were observed by Ocean Safety just north of Hapuna SRA about 20 – 50 yards off shore. The third tiger shark was observed to the south of Hapuna SRA.
Meanwhile, video has surfaced on YouTube showing a tiger shark getting too close for comfort at Hapuna.
According to Hawaii News Now, a father and son duo from Oahu met the large predator while spearfishing on Hawaii Island.
Hawaii Kai resident Mike Uyehara told the news station that the 8 to 10-foot tiger shark made three passes at them before losing interest. The video above shows the tense moment.