Wife Presumed Dead After Husband Says She was 'Eaten by Shark' While They Were Snorkelling Together in Hawaii

Search and rescue operations for a 60-year-old woman who disappeared after reports of a shark attack in Hawaii has been called off, authorities said on Friday.

On Thursday, Maui police received a call from a man who "saw a shark swim by repeatedly" while he was snorkeling 50 yards from Keawakapu Point, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources senior communications manager Dan Dennison said in a news briefing on Thursday.

Husband Said he Tried to Fight Off the Shark

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After spotting the shark, the man — whose identity was not released — searched for his wife and went back to shore after he was unable to find her, Dennison said. He confirmed that there was "an ongoing search for a person who possibly encountered a shark earlier today."

According to Hawaii News Now, the husband told police that he and his wife fought the shark before trying to go back to safety. While the man made it to shore, his wife did not. Later, part of a bathing suit and snorkeling set were recovered, per the outlet.

There have been no other sightings of the shark since the man's initial report, Dennison said, adding that Maui "has the most human-shark encounters of the main Hawaiian islands."

Search Operations Called Off After Rescuers Failed to Find Woman

The Maui Fire Department and Maui Ocean Safety officers began looking for the woman in the water and through an aerial search, Dennison said. They continued their efforts until nightfall on Thursday and then resumed their search at daybreak Friday morning.

However, Hawaii DNLR posted an update Friday evening that the search was called of around noon after they failed to locate the missing woman.

"DLNR, Maui County, and other agencies and individuals involved in the search extend their condolences to the family and friends of the missing woman," the department said in a statement, noting that here had been no reports of subsequent shark sightings, and signs are now posted to warn visitors to avoid the area.

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