Shark Sightings Close Hanalei Beach

As reported on

HANALEI — The morning sun was getting warm, the waters in Hanalei Bay were calm and beckoning. But save for a few isolated surfers, the bay was empty.

Shark sightings late Saturday afternoon closed the bay, which was supposed to reopen yesterday afternoon but instead remained closed at least until this morning, said Mary Daubert, county spokeswoman.

“It will likely re-open (today) but we had it remain closed as a precautionary measure,” Daubert said.

County officials would be meeting this morning to assess the situation and make a determination about whether to re-open the beach, she added.

One lifeguard working the area said there was a sighting of a shark at least 10 feet long close to the Hanalei Pier, and at least two more out in the middle of the bay Saturday afternoon.

“The surf’s gone down and the smaller fish are coming in,” the lifeguard said. “It’s all part of the food chain. What follows the small fish? Bigger fish.”

Stefan Schweitzer of ‘Anini was planning a day at the beach, but remained in the shade of the ironwoods after speaking with the lifeguards who were on patrol, advising beach-goers of the risks.

“The lifeguard said one of the sharks in the bay was wider than the Jet Ski they used to patrol the waters in,” Schweitzer said.