Aggressive shark halts girls’ surfing competition in Honolulu
A large and aggressive shark was spotted just feet from girls at a surfing competition Friday in Hawaii, prompting officials to postpone the event.
The 12-foot shark, which might have been preying on a turtle, appeared near the lineup as 11-year-old girls were competing at Ala Moana Bowls Invitational State Championship in Honolulu.
Kiki Oshiro Kaneshiro, 12, told Hawaii News Now that she had just paddled in from her heat before the shark sighting.
“It was super scary,” she said. “I feel really bad for those girls. I really hope they’re okay and not really traumatized by anything, because I’m scared right now talking about it.”
KHON2 reported that the shark was thrashing at the surface just feet from two competitors.
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Andrew Rossiter, Waikiki Aquarium Director, told KHON2 that the shark most likely was “trying to break off a piece of meat, probably a shell.”
Rossiter added: “I would also guess this shark was eating a turtle and trying to break off a semi-circle of shell and meat.”
Green sea turtles are a common prey item of tiger sharks.
The competition was canceled as Ocean Safety lifeguards posted warning signs and cautioned surfers at nearby spots.
The Hawaii Surfing Assn. informed competitors on its website to be prepared to resume competing in the Ala Moana Bowls Invitational on Saturday.
–Image provides an arial view of Ala Moana Harbor, via Wikimedia Commons