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Search for missing snorkeler following ‘shark encounter’

By Matthew Nuttle

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    KIHEI, Hawaii (KITV) — Emergency crews are searching for a missing snorkeler missing after a reported shark encounter in waters near the Kihei area on Maui, Thursday afternoon.

Rescuers responded to Keawakapu Point just before noon after a 911 caller reported a possible shark attack about 50 yards from shore.

An official with the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) has only said first responders are on the scene of a “shark/human encounter.”

First responders and officers from the DLNR DOCARE are on the scene attempting to account for all individuals who may have been involved.

The Maui Fire Department (MFD) launched several crews on skis. They also deployed dive crews and MFD Air 1. US Coast Guard aircraft are also conducting aerial searches, according to DLNR.

According to officials, a husband and wife were snorkeling about 50 yards off (beach) around noon when the husband said he spotted a shark swimming around. The husband made it back to shore but his wife was not with him.

Officials say the search will continue until nightfall and will resume in the morning, if necessary.

Shark warning signs have been posted from Manakai Condos to the north end of Waileia Beach.

No information about possible victims, ages, and their hometowns will be released at this time.

This is a developing story. Check back with KITV4 for more information.

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