Wife disappears after husband fights off shark while they were snorkeling

A woman is missing after she and her husband apparently encountered a shark while snorkeling in Hawaii.

The woman’s husband said they were snorkeling about 50 yards off shore in South Maui when he saw a shark pass them repeatedly, said Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman Dan Dennison.

Both of them fought off the shark, the man told police, according to Hawaii News Now. He made it to shore, but his wife did not.

The man, who has not been named, called 911 around noon on Thursday to report his missing wife.

Part of her swimsuit and a snorkeling set were later found.

First responders dispatched to Keawakapu Point searched for her in the water and from the air, said Dennison. They tried ‘to account for all individuals who may have been involved’, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

‘The Maui Fire Department has multiple firefighters on skis and diving and MFD Air 1, and US Coast Guard aircraft are conducting aerial searches,’ stated the department. ‘The MFD rescue boat is also responding.’

Search efforts continued through Thursday night and into Friday.

‘At this time, they have not spotted anyone in the water,’ Dennison said.

There were no reports of a shark sighting in the area after the husband’s call. However, shark sighting signs were put on the beach and people were asked to refrain from swimming.

The woman’s identity has not been released. Policies around shark incidents prevent authorities from sharing details on the potential victims, Dennison said.

‘Once we have that information, we will share it with the media,’ he said.

A beachgoer and visitor, Peter Gannon, was spooked by the incident.

‘I mean the scary thing about it, at this stage, is there is a person just totally missing,’ Gannon told Hawaii News Now.

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