I am sad to report that Jana Lutteropp, a 20 year-old German tourist, has died one week after a shark bit off her arm while she was snorkeling in Makena. It is not known what kind of shark was involved in the attack.
“Jana fought hard to stay alive,” her mother and sister said in a statement.”However, we are sad to say she lost her fight today.”
The last time someone died of a shark attack in Hawaii was in 2004. A Tiger shark bit Willis McGuinness in the leg while he was surfing at S-turns, (near Kahana) 100 yards off Maui. He suffered severe blood loss and died onshore. The last fatal attack before that was in 1992.
Tuesday, Hawaii officials announced they plan to spend the next two years studying Tiger shark movements around Maui, amid what they call an unprecedented spike in overall shark attacks since the beginning of 2012.
There have been eight attacks statewide this year, and 10 in 2012. Hawaii usually sees 3-4 per year.
What can be learned from this? Mike Turkington, uber-surfer and former fireman/water rescue guy, said that in both of these shark-related deaths, the water was murky. After a rain, there is often run-off into certain areas and dead fish or dead animals are floating in the water. Exactly what a hungry shark would be looking for.
So heads-up: don’t snorkel, or standup paddle, or surf in, or near murky water. Your life could depend on it.
Rest in sweet peace, Jana.
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