Kayak Angler Killed by Shark in Hawaii
By Paul Lebowitz
A kayaker fishing offshore of Maui has died as the result of a shark bite. This is the first reported shark-caused kayak fishing fatality.
According to a statement from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, the victim, Patrick A. Briney of Stevenson, Washington (57) was fishing between Makena and Molokini in west Maui when he was bitten on the right leg. A friend fishing nearby hailed the charter boat Sea Spirit for help, but part-time Maui resident Briney died prior to making it to shore at the Kihei boat ramp.
Capt. Jon Jon Tabon, a kayak fishing guide with Local Knowledge Fishing, told KHON that the men were fishing an area popular with kayak anglers. The water was murky at the time. “Tiger sharks have become accustomed to seeing a lot of kayak fishermen and with that said they know that there’s food coming off there,” Tabon said.
According to the Star Advertiser, Briney was using artificial lures to fish for bait when his dangling foot was bitten. His friend, who was fishing several hundred yards away, applied a tourniquet.
Video taken by KHON at the Kihei boat ramp showed first responders carrying a small granite-colored Hobie Mirage kayak, possibly a Sport. A second blue Hobie was seen packed in a van.
“It’s very sad, what happened. An unfortunate event. There’s nothing anybody can do about that,” said Isaac Brumaghim, owner of Aquahunters.com, Hawaii’s active kayak fishing community. Brumaghim confirmed that the victim was not a member or known to them.
Brumaghim said the tragedy won’t cause the Aquahunters to change their habits or stop kayak fishing. “There are only a few sports where there are animals out there that will gobble you up. We have no lucky medallion because we are Aquahunters,” he said. It comes with the territory. He’s gearing up to go tomorrow.
DLNR has closed area beaches through Tuesday. According to HNN, a woman was attacked by a shark in the area just three days earlier. In August, a German tourist died after her arm was severed in an attack at nearby Palauea.