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Man surfing off Maui dies after shark encounter, Hawaii officials say

A 39-year-old surfer died after a shark encounter in Maui on Saturday, officials in Hawaii said. 

The man encountered the shark in Paia Bay around 11:10 a.m. local time, the Maui Fire Department said. Ocean Safety officers transported the wounded man to shore via a jet ski, according to the County of Maui Facebook page. He received treatment on the shore before being taken to a hospital, where he died. 

The man has not yet been publicly identified. 

Baldwin Beach Park and Lower Pā'ia Park were closed after the deadly encounter, and shark warning signs were posted from Tavares Bay to Baby Beach, authorities said. 

Saturday's attack was the only deadly shark encounter in Hawaii in 2023, though there have been more than a half dozen incidents involving sharks in Hawaii this year, according to the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources. On Dec. 8 last year, a snorkeler died in a shark attack.

Around 40 species of sharks live in the waters around Hawaii, but only about a dozen of the more than 300 species of sharks in the world have been involved in attacks on humans, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Tiger sharks are considered the most dangerous shark species in Hawaiian waters, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Officials have not specified the type of shark involved in Saturday's attack.

In 2022, Florida accounted for 39% of unprovoked attacks in the U.S., with New York reporting the second most bites, followed by Hawaii, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Saturday's attack came just days after a teenage boy was killed in a shark attack in Australia. Last year, Australia had the second-highest number of unprovoked shark bites in the world – with the U.S. being first.

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