Shark Kills Hawaii Swimmer

'His entire left leg from his knee down was just missing'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2019 1:10 AM CDT
Shark Kills Hawaii Swimmer
Kaanapali Beach.   (Wikimedia Commons/dronepicr)

A 65-year-old man was killed Saturday morning in America's first fatal shark attack of 2019—and the first in Hawaii since 2015. Authorities say the visitor from California was attacked around 8:30am while swimming 60 yards off Maui's Kaanapali Beach, CNN reports. Witnesses say the man was unresponsive as rescuers pulled him from the water and performed CPR. "As we got closer, I saw some blood on his stomach and then I got looking a little bit more and his wrist, it looked like the skin on his wrist was just torn off," witness Allison Keller tells Hawaii News Now. "And then I got looking closer and his entire left leg from his knee down was just missing. There was no blood or anything."

The victim was identified as Thomas Smiley, a Sacramento optometrist who was visiting Hawaii with his wife, KCRA reports. "He was a good-hearted man that people who didn’t get to know him really missed out," friend Gary Taxera tells the station. Warnings signs have been posted along the beach. Authorities haven't said what kind of shark was involved, though tiger sharks are the usual culprit in fatal attacks in the area, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports. Five other people have been injured in shark attacks in Hawaii so far this year, including a man who was bitten by a requiem shark May 8 in what authorities say was a "provoked incident." (Read more shark attack stories.)

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