A horrifying incident straight out of a movie took place off the coast of the Hawaiian island of Maui when a shark attack led to a woman’s tragic demise.
The victim, a 60-year-old woman from Washington state, was snorkeling with her husband off Maui on Dec. 8 when she went missing.
Investigators have concluded that the woman was the victim of a fatal shark attack, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a Facebook post Friday.
The husband told authorities he had encountered an “aggressive” shark about 50 yards off Keawakapu Beach.
He was not especially near his wife while they were snorkeling, only being able to spot her intermittently.
The husband said the shark circled him for a time and he was able to see “something red around the shark’s gills,” the DLNR post said.
An eyewitness on the beach told authorities he had seen the couple snorkeling earlier and then spotted what is believed to be the same massive shark.
When he looked for the couple to warn them, “he saw the shark’s large mouth continuing to feed on something in the middle of the red cloud in the water,” the DLNR post said.
The witness then called 911 to report what he saw.
State and local authorities, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, failed to find the victim’s body and called off the search on Dec. 9.
While they were looking for her, they reported seeing a shark roughly 10 to 12 feet long — thought to be a tiger shark — swimming in the area of the apparent attack, DLNR said in a news release.
A subsequent investigation by the department’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement determined that the woman was the victim of a fatal shark attack.
While shark attacks are rather rare and fatal instances even more so, Hawaii has seen its fair share.
According to International Shark Attack File statistics reported by Beat of Hawaii, the Aloha State saw a total of 152 shark attacks between 1828 and 2020. Of those, only 17 were fatal.
DLNR’s detailed shark incidents list includes seven fatal attacks in Hawaiian waters since 1995.
In its listing of the Dec. 8 incident, it says the species and length of the attacking shark are unknown.
Despite the odds being in your favor, Hawaii is home to many shark species that could attack humans, including the great white and hammerhead, although great whites are rare there.
Tiger sharks, on the other hand, are described as the most aggressive and most likely to attack, as they are responsible for a majority of the state’s shark attacks, according to Beat of Hawaii.
Tiger sharks are far more curious and like to search for food closer to the surface, and their size allows them to pack a real punch when they bite.
While the chances of a shark encounter are rare, this case is an unfortunate reminder that the danger still exists, and locals and tourists alike must be on guard while enjoying the ocean.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.