A San Diego man was attacked by a shark Wednesday while swimming in the ocean off Maui, officials said.
Jonathan Genant, 29, was alone when a shark bit his left hand about 200 yards off Keawakapu Beach. He was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center where he was listed in stable condition. Hospital spokeswoman Carol Clark said Genant lost his little finger and a portion of his ring finger.
Genant’s brother-in-law, Josh Woodlander, said Genant was a good athlete who swam regularly and had competed in triathlons. “I guess the shark was coming at him with a big gaping mouth,” Woodlander said. “We’re all pretty shocked.”
Lifeguards closed the beach after the attack, which occurred at about 11:45 a.m., said Marian Feenstra, aquatics division chief of the state Department of Parks and Recreation.
Fire Battalion Chief Alan Pascua said a fire helicopter spotted a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark in the area right after attack.
Pascua said the water was a little murky after recent rains.
It was the first shark attack in Hawaii resulting in injury since Oct. 9, 2004, when Davy Sanada was bitten while spearfishing off Molokai. He suffered injuries to his face and left shoulder from what he described as an 8-foot tiger shark.
On April 7, 2004, surfer Willis McInnis, 57, was killed by a tiger shark off Kahana on Maui.