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Kaanapali Beach in Maui compared with other dangerous beaches after deadly shark attack


“Aloha from the Maui Visitors Bureau. The office is now closed in observance of the holiday.” This is the recording anyone hears today when calling the Maui Visitors Burea. The Hawaii Tourism Authority has no statement after a 65 visitor from Granite Bay, California swimming in front of his resort hotel, the Aston Kaanapali Shores on Maui’s Ka’anapali Beach Park was eaten by a shark on Sunday. When lifeguards pulled the swimmer to shore and began CPR, he was missing a leg from the knee down. Smiley died on Kaanapali Beach.

“Ka’anapali Beach is a wonderful beach! The water and sand are beautiful. Be cautious that the waves can get quite big here. it wasn’t overcrowded when we went and we loved that. Close to restaurants and shopping too.” This is the feedback many visitors share with their friends and social media when talking about one of the most known tourist beaches on the Island of Maui close to the city of Lahaina. Many of the major resort hotels like Aston Kaanapali Shores, Hyatt, Sheraton, Westin, Marriott are facing Kaanapali Beach.

A photo was released by Hawaii News Now:

Optometrist Dr. Thomas Smiley was a frequent visitors to the Hawaiian Islands. He was 65 years old. Smiley leaves behind a wife, three children, and six grandchildren. This is now the second deadly shark attack since 2015 when a snorkeler was killed off Maui.
Dr. Smiley was swimming about 60 yards (55 meters) from shore when the attack happened, authorities stated.

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Since 2007, 443 non-fatal shark attacks have occurred in the United States. When attackedmost victims were surfing or swimming.

Hawaii is only the second most dangerous state when it comes to swimmers killed by sharks. Since 2007  the number of visitors and locals killed by sharks in the U.S:
  • Florida, 244 total.
  • Hawaii, 66 total.
  • South Carolina, 39 total.
  • California, 33 total.
  • North Carolina, 33 total.
  • Texas,11 total.
  • Oregon, 6 total.
  • Georgia, 4 total.

The 9 most dangerous places in the world in regards to being attacked by a shark are:

1. Pernambuco, Brazil

The Brazilian government decided to close 37 miles of pristine beaches to surfers in light of the 18 fatal shark attacks that occurred there since 1992. When they finally decided to lift the ban in 2006, the sharks were there waiting and another surfer fatality occurred. The shockingly high attack rate in these waters appears to be due to over-fishing. Without enough food supply, the sharks have begun to sample other forms of fare to satisfy their relentless hunger.

2. Second Beach, South Africa

With so many great white sharks patrolling this and other nearby surf beaches, it might be healthier to find a nice wave pool instead. Because of its history of attacks and frequent sightings of great whites, the beach is popular among shark-seeking tourists who come to tour the waters by boat. Tour operators dump veritable boatloads of bloody chum in order to entice the great whites to appear, as they are known to breach the water’s surface in this area. You definitely don’t want to surf or swim anywhere near these boats and their chum lines. You’ll welcome a protective cage between you and the toothy predators when venturing in these waters.

3. New Smyrna Beach, Florida

More than 238 shark attacks have been documented at Florida’s (surprisingly) popular New Smyrna Beach. In fact, 15% of worldwide shark bites have occurred here, giving it the nightmarish moniker of “shark bite capital of the world.” Beach goers continue to flock to Volusia County in spite of its high level of attacks. Experts think that the encounters are proportionate to the high numbers of people in the waters here at any given time. Even so, most of the “nibbling bites” are courtesy of baby bull sharks that favor these waters, a species that is one of the most notorious man-eating sharks out there. To date, none of the recorded attacks here have been fatal, but do you want to risk being the first?

4. Velzyland Beach, Hawaii

Located on the island of Oahu, Velzyland Beach features amazing surfing, but its association with tiger sharks should give you pause before you venture out to catch a wave. If the tigers don’t scare you, just consider that there are about 41 different shark species that frequent Hawaii’s waters including other aggressive specimens like bull sharks and great whites. The last fatal shark attack at this beach occurred in 1994 when a tiger shark attacked a surfer. More recent attacks on surfers have been reported, but fortunately, their lives were spared.

5. New South Wales, Australia

The beaches of New South Wales, including world-famous Bondi Beach, are associated with more than 170 unprovoked shark attacks (who willfully provokes a shark anyway?) and more than 50 fatal attacks. Great white shark encounters off the beaches of New South Wales are more common than in other parts of the world due to the position of the continental shelf which puts swimmers and surfers in close proximity to the deep waters where these potential predators cruise.

6. Fletcher Cove, California

Second, only to Smyrna Beach for most numerous shark attacks in the U.S., Fletcher Cove may be picturesque, but it is also the scene of 142 unprovoked shark attacks, including some recent fatalities. Scientists are convinced that the fish-strewn waters in this region are ideal feeding grounds for large predators like the great white. Located near San Diego, this beach might best be admired while sitting on its golden sands with a cold drink.

7. Reunion Island

A far-flung vacation destination in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is a true-blue paradise in terms of sun and sea. However, the waters off this small island are teeming with sharks. More than 10 attacks in a recent two-year period (three were fatal), have prompted island officials to close the beaches to swimmers and surfers. Experts aren’t sure why the sharks are biting people with greater frequency, but culling the waters hasn’t yet convinced all tourists the island’s gorgeous beaches are safe for swimming.

8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

One of the most popular vacation beaches in the U.S., Myrtle Beach and its neighboring coastlines are associated with a high number of shark attacks. Since 2005, there have been more than fifty. In fact, researchers have claimed that South Carolina’s waters are just as dangerous as Florida’s when comparing the swimmer-to-attack ratio. The beaches of Horry County may be beautiful, but their waters are attractive to species like tiger sharks and bull sharks. Are you daring enough to risk a dip?

9. Coffin Bay, Australia

The name says it all. Don’t swim here unless you fancy a meeting with a great white – or two. In fact, recently an abalone diver was attacked and killed by two great white sharks. His body was never recovered. Stick to boating and fishing rather than in-water activities when you’re in this pretty South Australian bay

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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