Snorkeller missing in Hawaii after ‘shark encounter’

Authorities in Hawaii are searching for a woman who disappeared after she and her husband encountered a shark while snorkelling on South Maui, according to reports.

Search and rescue teams responded to a 911 call about a possible shark attack at Keawakapu Point just before midday (5pm ET) on Thursday, the Hawaii Land and Natural Resources (HLNR) said in a statement.

The husband told authorities he and his wife had been snorkelling about 45m from shore when he spotted a shark swimming close by, the spokesperson Dan Dennison said.

First responders located the woman’s snorkel set and part of her swimming costume, but have found no trace of her, Mr Dennison added.

The Maui Fire department, Coast Guard and the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement are conducting air and sea searches of the area.

No information has been released about the woman’s identity, age or hometown.

Authorities urged people to avoid the area while the search continues.

Shark warning signs from Mana Kai to Ulua Point will remain in place at least until noon Friday.

According to figures from Hawaii Land and Natural Resources, six shark attacks have been recorded so far in 2022, not including Thursday’s incident.

In March, a snorkeller lost a left arm around 15 metres from shore at Maui’s Paia Bay.