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article imageRise in shark attacks around Hawaii spark study

By Mike White     Aug 21, 2013 in Odd News
A sharp rise in the number of shark attacks in the waters around Hawaii has sparked a study that will last two years. The study will determine what actions can be taken to make the waters safer. In an attack in August, one woman lost an arm.
A rise in shark attacks in the waters around Hawaii, which has included more than twice as many attacks as normal annually, has sparked a study, according cbc.ca.news. There were ten attacks in 2012 and have been eight so far this year, compared to an average of four annually. In one attack earlier in August, 2013, a 20-year-old German tourist lost her arm.
According to Chairman William Aila, of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, citizens of the state, as well as tourists, do not need to be afraid. He said swimmers will be safe if they are cautious. Aila added currently many believe sharks are attacking swimmers more often, saying people believe there has been an “inordinate” amount of attacks.
"We just want to make it clear that within the history of the state of Hawaii, the number of shark attacks have gone up, and they've gone down, and there have been some years we've actually had no shark attacks,” the chairman explained in the article.
The average number of shark attacks in a year may be four, but in many years it has actually been less. The number of shark attacks from 1980 to 2012 was either one or zero every year.
The attack on the German tourist, who had been snorkeling, was not the only attack of note in August. Four days after that attack, a 16-year-old surfer received injuries to his legs after being bitten near the Big Island.
The study will last two years according to an article in canadianonlinenews.net. The study will involve the movements of the tiger shark around the island of Maui.
Aila said during a news conference that officials don’t know as much as they should about shark movements around the Big Island or Maui. The study will start in September.
Carl Meyer, a marine biologist for the University of Hawaii said it is important to study tiger sharks. That is because they often move around all the water surrounding the state.
Meyer says tiger sharks often swim up to 160km daily. They don’t stay anywhere long and have the ability to swim in shallow waters. He said more needs to be known before action can be taken.
A high school teacher from California who saved the woman who lost her arm recalled the incident in an article in usatoday.com.
“We heard this blood-curdling scream," Rick Moore, 57, of Laguna Niguel, California,” recalled in the article. "We look out and there was blood everywhere in the white water around her."
The teacher swam out to save the woman after he put on flippers. He recalled that her arm was “completely severed from her body." He said he found her floating on her back. Moore said the woman was almost unconscious. He swam backward with the woman’s other arm around his neck and prayed for God to save them. He then received help from a friend, Nicholas Grisaffi, 61, of Laguna Beach, California, in getting woman out of the water.
Aila said the study may help those in charge decide whether to place signs in places, warning of the danger, close certain areas or take other measures.
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