Experts: Shark attacks remain rare in Hawaii, elsewhere

Published On: Aug 07 2013 11:47:00 AM HST
Updated On: Aug 07 2013 12:03:18 PM HST
Shark Warning Sign posted at Kalama Beach

LIHUE, Hawaii -

Two people in Hawaii suffered injuries last week from sharks but species experts say attacks remain rare.

The Garden Island, quoting the Shark Attack File website, reports there were only 106 recorded shark incidents worldwide in 2012.

There has been just one Hawaii shark attack death in the last 20 years. A shark in 2004 killed 57-year-old Willis McInnis as he surfed in murky water near Kahana on Maui.

Hanalei biologist and videographer Terry Lilley says humans are not a shark's prey.  Lilley says, on average, five people are killed every year by accidental shark bites.  He compares that figure with the 150 people killed each year by falling coconuts.

Department of Land and Natural Resources biologist Don Heacock recommends not swimming in dirty, murky water where a shark could mistake someone for its usual prey.

Heacock also says this is the time of year when hammerhead sharks and others species enter nearshore waters to give birth.

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