Tourist bitten by Tiger Shark while snorkeling in Hawaii

HAPUNA BEACH, Hawaii (KHON) – A man is recovering on Oahu after he was bitten by a shark off the Big Island Wednesday.

It happened at 11:46 a.m. off Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, a 58-year-old man from Overland Park, Kan., had been snorkeling with family at the south point of the beach when a shark bit him on the arm.

Police say he was assisted to shore and taken to North Hawaii Community Hospital, where he was treated for severe lacerations to his left forearm and injury to his left thigh. Fire officials say he was then flown to Honolulu for further treatment.

Fire and state land officials say the shark was identified as a 10- to 12-foot-long tiger shark, which was again spotted in the bay sometime after 1 p.m.

Police say all swimmers were evacuated from the water, and the Department of Land and Natural Resources and county lifeguards closed Hapuna Beach State Park following the incident.

Warning signs were posted along the shoreline, including Wailea Beach and as far north as Spencer Beach Park and south to Puako Beach.

The public is advised to exercise caution if entering the ocean at these areas.

Hapuna Beach State Park will remain closed and warning signs posted until the Hawaii County Fire Department conducts helicopter flyovers Thursday morning.

If a shark is sighted, the park will remain closed. If no shark is sighted during the 11 a.m. flyover, the park will be reopened at noon.

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