A 51-year-old woman was attacked by a shark this past weekend on a Maui beach in California.
The woman was able to push the shark away from her and swim away after being bitten on her leg. Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga says the woman suffered puncture wounds to her right inner thigh and lacerations to the front and back of her right hand from pushing the shark away.
The attack occurred at the Makena Landing Beach Park on Maui about 20 yards from the shore. The shark was believed to be between 10 and 12 feet long. It was not reported what species of shark was known to have attacked the woman.
After the attack the woman was said to be in stable condition at the Maui Memorial Medical Center. Authorities closed the beach for a two-mile stretch on Saturday afternoon while safety officials evaluated the situation.
Every year around 100 shark attacks are reported worldwide. Seventeen fatalities are recorded as having being caused by shark attacks in 2011, out of 118 recorded attacks. On average, there are 16 shark attacks per year in the United States with one fatality every two years.
Despite these reports, however, the actual number of fatal shark attacks worldwide remains uncertain. For the majority of Third World coastal nations, there exists no method of reporting suspected shark attacks; therefore, losses and fatalities at near-shore or sea there often remain unsolved or unpublicized.
According to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF), between 1580 and 2011 there were 2,463 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks around the world, of which 471 were fatal.