68-Year-Old Swimmer Attacked by Giant Tiger Shark Fights Him Off with a Diving Knife

The man was hospitalized with serious injuries.

A man swimming off the coast of southern Maui fought off a giant tiger shark with a diving knife after it attacked him and bit off a piece of his torso. Local police say the 68-year-old man ended up in hospital with his injuries after the shark took a chunk out of him. "It was hectic," witness Anthony Singh told Hawaii News Now. "It was brutal." Here's what happened and why Hawaiian authorities are concerned about recent shark attacks.

Early Morning Swim

Anaehoomalu (A-bay) Waikoloa Big Island Hawaii

According to Hawaii Island Police, the local man from Waikoloa was swimming off Anaehoomalu Bay on the Big Island. At 8.15 am, the man was suddenly attacked by a 12 ft tiger shark 50 to 70 yards offshore and fought it off with a diving knife. The shark ended up letting him go.

Sudden Attack

Hawaii News Now

Nearby paddleboarders saw what happened and helped get the 68-year-old man out of the water to safety on the beach. Witnesses said the shark "got a good chunk of the left side of his back rear." The man was said to be responsive when they got him out of the water and was taken to Queens North Hawaii Community Hospital.

Wrong Time, Wrong Place

Hawaii News Now

Other witnesses were alarmed because they had been swimming in the same spot earlier and could have been attacked themselves. "Our friend, yesterday, was right out there where the swimmer was," said Anna Kathryn Sengupta of California. "I guess it's just wrong place, wrong time."

Stable Condition

Hawaii News Now

The swimmer was taken to the hospital in serious condition but is now stable and will be transported to Oahu for further treatment. Anaehoomalu Bay remains closed to swimmers and surfers, and signs have been put up to warn people about the sharks. It is not known when the bay will be considered safe enough to open again. 

The Second Shark Attack in a Week

Hawaii News Now

This is the second shark attack in Hawaii in a short space of time—a woman went missing last week after she was attacked by a shark in Maui. The 60-year-old woman was snorkeling with her husband when the attack happened, and no trace of her has been found apart from part of a bathing suit and a snorkel set. "I mean, the scary thing about it, at this stage, is there is a person just totally missing," said tourist Peter Gannon.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •