A woman from California visiting Hawaii was bitten by a shark on Tuesday after being knocked from her kayak as her husband watched from a standup paddleboard nearby.
The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. in Anaehoomalu Bay near Waikoloa on Hawaii island as Kimberly Bishop and her husband, Kim, were out on the water.
“The water was really clear so I could see in front of me,” Bishop told KHON. “There was nothing in front of me. We could see all the way down.”
But her morning on the water quickly turned into anything but peaceful when something bumped her kayak.
“Something came from behind knocked over the kayak and bit my leg,” Bishop told KHON.
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Bishop then began to yell to her husband, who was about 100 feet away.
“The first thing that I knew I heard her yell ‘shark, shark’ and I turned and she was in the water…I saw the fins in the water and I immediately paddled as fast as I could to get over to her,” he told KHON.
Her husband was about to get the 65-year-old back into her kayak and yelled out to some nearby people on a canoe for help. Bishop was eventually brought back to shore, and airlifted to a hospital, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
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Officials from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources told KHON that Bishop may have been attacked by a 5-foot-long blacktip reef shark. The incident caused shark warning signs to be posted warning beachgoers to look out.
“The blacktip reef shark prefers shallow, inshore areas where it is less vulnerable to larger species of sharks in the open ocean,” according to the Maui Ocean Center, which notes that “very few incidents” involving blacktip reef sharks have been reported.
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Authorities are still investigating to determine what kind of shark bit Bishop. The couple, who live in California but have a home in Waikoloa, said the incident was frightening but not keeping them out of the water.
“Sharks live in the water,” she told KHON. “It’s their home and we understand that. I will go kayaking again.”