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California

California man, 65, killed in shark attack off Maui

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The 65-year-old California man had gone swimming at Maui’s Ka’anapali Beach Park, his family told rescuers.
(Los Angeles Times)

A California man was killed in a shark attack off the Hawaiian island of Maui, officials said Sunday.

The victim, identified by police as 65-year-old Thomas Smiley, had traveled from his home in Granite Bay, Calif., with his wife and was swimming about 60 yards from shore when he was pulled underwater, witnesses told Maui police.

At about 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning, emergency responders were called to the Kaanapali Shores resort beachfront in Kaanapali. They brought Smiley ashore and tried to revive him, said Lt. Gregg Okamoto, a spokesman for the Maui Police Department.

“They pulled the man up. He looked unconscious when they transferred him to the other gurney. And we could see that they were trying to do CPR on him,” Allison Keller, a witness on the beach, told Hawaii News Now, a local station.

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Smiley was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources worked with lifeguards to search the waters for a shark but were unsuccessful. The incident is being classified as a “fatal miscellaneous accident,” police said.

Tiger sharks are the most common bite suspects in the region.

Still, a sign reading, “Warning: Shark Sighted” marked the sand. A bouquet of flowers rested against the base of its wooden post.

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Keller described hearing a woman screaming that Smiley was her husband.

“It was really traumatic to see,” she said.

The last fatal shark attack in Hawaii was in 2015, when a snorkeler off Maui was killed.


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