Hawaii Surfer Dies in Maui Shark Attack|Richard_F|richard@cfz.org.uk|04/22/04 at 17:21:00|Richard_F|xx|0||Hawaii Surfer Dies in Maui Shark Attack

April 7, 2004

Associated Press Writer

HONOLULU (AP)--A surfer was killed Wednesday by a shark off the coast of
Maui, the first deadly shark attack in Hawaii in several years.

Willis McInnis, 57, was helped out of the water, but died on the shore
despite rescue efforts by beachgoers, police and paramedics. He was bitten
in the leg and suffered severe blood loss, police Capt. Charles Hirata said.

He said the bite on McInnis was 12 to 14 inches wide, indicating that it was
probably a large shark.

``It has to be a fairly good size shark to do that damage,'' said Randy
Honebrink, spokesman for the Shark Task Force of the state Department of
Land and Natural Resources. ``Right now we don't have any idea of how big or
what kind of shark it was.''

One witness told police the surfer missed catching a wave, turned back out
and was paddling when the attack occurred. He was attacked about 300 yards
off Kahana beach on Maui's western shoreline.

Only four shark attacks were reported in Hawaii last year, including one in
October off the island of Kauai that took the left arm of top amateur surfer
Bethany Hamilton, then 13.

In 1999, the husband of Nahid Davoodabadi, 29, of Sunnyvale, Calif., said
his wife was killed by a shark while the couple was kayaking off West Maui.
Her body was never recovered.

The last confirmed shark attack death in Hawaii was in 1992 when 18-year-old
surfer Aaron Romento of Pearl City was attacked off West Oahu. In 1991, a
woman swimming near her home on Maui was killed by a 15-foot shark.

Honebrink said there are an average of about four shark attacks off the
Hawaiian Islands every year. He said tiger sharks are the most common.

``They do feed an awful lot at things at the surface,'' Honebrink said.
``They have a nonspecific diet, they'll eat just about anything.''

Authorities will try to determine the type of shark in Wednesday's attack by
studying the victim's bite marks.

AP-NY-04-07-04 2110EDT