Teen recovering following apparent shark attack near Pohoiki


A 16-year-old boy is recovering Sunday afternoon following an apparent shark attack in waters off Pohoiki.

The boy was surfing at "Dead Trees," near the Pohoiki boat ramp when he reported being bitten by a gray, 8-foot shark, according to the Hawaii Fire Department.

Fire rescue personnel responding to the 1:38 p.m. report found lifeguards tending to the boy. According to the department, the boy suffered "multiple lacerations and puncture wounds to (the) lower extremities."

The victim was subsequently transported to the Pahoa Fire Station via ambulance before being flown by Hawaii County's Chopper 2 to Hilo Medical center.

Chopper 1 performed aerial surveillance of the coastline area but reported seeing no sharks in the water.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the Pohoiki area shortly after the apparent attack.

This is the third shark attack in waters off the Big Island so far in 2013. On June 28, a 28-year-old Kailua-Kona suffered wounds to his right thigh and calf following an apparent shark attack at Mahaiula Bay, within Kekaha Kai State Park.

On Jan. 16, a 43-year-old  surfing in waters off Kiholo Bay in North Kona when a shark bit his hand, reportedly nearly severing it. In 2011, there were two reports of sharks biting boards, but not injuring the riders, near Lyman’s surf spot in Kailua-Kona.

Prior to that, an attack occurred in October 1999 when a 16-year-old boy had his arm bitten by a 6- to 8-foot shark while he was surfing shortly before sunset off Old Kona Airport Park, according to West Hawaii Today archives. An unconfirmed attack was also reported April 1987 in Kailua Bay and a confirmed attack occurred in 1963 off South Kona, according to the archives.