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Shark kills 65-year-old Granite Bay man vacationing in Maui, Hawaii officials say

A shark killed a Granite Bay, California, man on a Hawaii vacation Saturday morning as he swam in the ocean at a Maui resort, Hawaiian station KITV reported.

The 65-year-old man was attacked about 60 yards off Kaanapali Shores at 9 a.m., according to the station. Family members told KCRA the man who died was Thomas Smiley, an optometrist in Sacramento.

Witness Allison Keller said Smiley appeared to be unconscious as rescuers brought him to shore while performing CPR, Hawaii News Now reported.

“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,” Keller said, according to the station.

“And then I got looking closer and his entire left leg from his knee down was just missing,” she said, Hawaii News Now reported. “There was no blood or anything.”

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It’s the sixth shark attack in Hawaii in 2019, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources division of aquatic resources.

The last fatal shark attack took place in 2015, when a snorkeler off Kanahena Point on Maui died, department records show.

“It’s a gut wrenching thing when it happens,” said Michael Dornier, a shark expert, KHON reported. “No one wants to be part of the food chain.”

But Dornier cautioned that chances of a fatal shark attacks are extremely small - about one in 12 million, according to the station.

It’s not yet known what kind of shark killed the man, but most shark attacks in Hawaii involve tiger sharks, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Signs warning beach-goers of the shark attack have been posted in the area, according to the publication.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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