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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Surfer killed by shark off Hawaii
Shark warning at Kahana beach in Hawaii
Tiger sharks are the most common attackers in Hawaii
A surfer has been killed by a shark off the island of Maui, Hawaii's first deadly shark attack in about 12 years.

Willis McInnis, 57, was bitten in the leg as he was paddling off the island's Kahana beach.

The man was helped out of the water, but died on the shore despite efforts by passers-by, police and paramedics.

Police Captain Charles Hirata Mr McInnis suffered severe blood loss from a bite that was at least 30cm (12 inches) wide.

"It has to be a fairly good size shark to do that damage," said Randy Honebrink, a spokesman for the state's Shark Task Force.

Missed wave

A witness to the attack told police that Mr McInnis missed a wave, turned back out and was paddling when he was bitten, about 275m (300 yards) off the shore.

Only four shark attacks were reported in Hawaii last year, including one in October in which a 13-year-old champion surfer lost her arm.

The last confirmed fatality was in 1992 when 18-year-old surfer Aaron Romento was attacked off West Oahu.

Mr Honebrink said tiger sharks were the most common attackers, as they do much of their feeding at the surface.

"They have a non-specific diet, they'll eat just about anything," he said.


SEE ALSO:
Diver flees with shark attached
11 Feb 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Diver killed in shark attack
30 Apr 02  |  Asia-Pacific
SA shark tour operator shut down
07 Jan 04  |  Africa
Shark attacks: On the increase?
05 Sep 01  |  Americas


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