(Kihei, Maui) – The search for a missing 60-year-old Washington State woman was called off at noon today, after teams from the Maui Fire Dept., Maui Ocean Safety, and the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) failed to find her.
Based on reports from her husband and other witnesses, just before noon on Thursday, a large shark was spotted about 50-yards off-shore at Keawakapu Point in south Maui. The woman’s husband reported while the couple was snorkeling he saw a shark swim by but could not see his wife. The shark swam by several times before the man returned to shore and reported his wife missing.
First responders used personal watercraft, a rescue boat, a helicopter, and a U.S. Coast Guard aircraft to search the area, beginning shortly after the initial 911 call. They continued their efforts until nightfall on Thursday and then resumed their search at daybreak this morning.
DOCARE officers remained on scene until 2 p.m. after a large shark, believed to be a Tiger shark, was spotted in the area. A subsequent survey of the area did not provide any evidence that the 10-12-foot-long shark was still in the area, so shark warning signs have now been removed.
Under shark incident protocols DLNR does not release the names of individuals involved in shark encounters.
DLNR, Maui County, and other agencies and individuals involved in the search extend their condolences to the family and friends of the missing woman.