The Ford Ironman Race held in Kailua Kona every year, just got lot tougher. Its not like the 2.4 mile swim, then riding their bike another 112 miles, and then, running, yet another 26 miles wasn't grueling enough - mother nature just threw one in. In the last 3 days there have been 2 Shark attacks near the swim course - REAL NEAR the swim course.
The Shark is estimated to be a 16 foot Tiger Shark - both, by the eyewitness accounts, and the size of the bite marks.
The first one was a grandmother and her grandchild (May 22) 30 feet of shore at Lyman's Bay, shark bumped them off their SUP (Stand Up Paddle) board, then bit into the board - both survived unharmed - UNTOUCHED ! The grandmother kicked at the shark, and threw her grandchild back up on the board, and amazingly - they were able to paddle in with no further contact with the shark.
The second attack came 2 days later - May 25, 2011 - assumed to be the same shark, happened at the same surf spot, this time the shark came up from the rear and and bit the board, pulling it under, the lady was trying to signal other surfers in the area, and miraculosly survived without a scratch - this time they closed the beach.
In Hawaii you Have 2 schools of thought:
1: Western culture, the shark epitomizes the rapacious predator, which, when it kills, must be killed. It's the "Jaws" syndrome. But the relationship between traditional Hawaiians and sharks was, and is, far more complex:
2;The Hawaiian way is to value all creatures as having a rightful place in the ecosystem. Sharks are useful game, yet it is also believed that some sharks are the embodiment of gods, family deities called 'aumakua. In Hawaiian, 'aumakua is defined as a benevolent guardian spirit or family protector. Though some view the practice as a religious one involving worship, most, like Maxwell, a Christian, regard it as a continuation of an ancient belief system, a cultural practice that does not interfere with other religious beliefs. Its prevalence today is difficult to determine, often varying according to the age of the person to whom you speak. Nonetheless, for those who have a relationship with their 'aumakua, it remains a powerful force.
"Aila practices this belief, with some rare exceptions. "I make it a policy not to kill sharks," he said, though he does believe that there is an appropriate time to kill a shark, if there has been a series of attacks in one area. He reconciles this practical approach with his cultural beliefs, as long as there is a good reason for the hunt, and all of the shark gets used. "The same teaching that would not let you use a piece of land destructively is the same philosophy that does not let you take something from the ocean and waste," he said.
He has joined some shark hunts for two reasons: to do away with a bad shark and to make sure his 'aumakua was not harmed. "
For more on Sharks as Amakua by Katherine Nichols - see the article here http://www.moolelo.com/sharks.html
For now, well they just announced that the beaches are ropened - 24 hours after the last shark attack
Another great article on Shark Bites, follow this link - it talks about all the Hawaii Shark Attacks http://www.hawaii247.com/2011/05/25/second-shark-attack-at-lymans-beach-in-four-days/
Lymans Surf, Christmas 2009