Man Mauled To Death By Shark While Swimming In Hawaii

by : Emily Brown on : 27 May 2019 13:57
Man dies after being bitten by sharkHawaii News Now

A California man has died after being bitten by a shark while swimming in the ocean in Hawaii. 

The 65-year-old man, identified as retired optometrist Thomas Smiley, is believed to have been on holiday with his wife when he went for a swim off the coast of the Aston Kaanapali Shores resort.


Thomas was only about 60 yards (54 metres) away from the beach when he got caught up in the deadly encounter with the shark before 9am local time.


The County of Maui Department of Fire and Public Safety attended the scene with a helicopter and a jetski to find the injured tourist, and brought Thomas back to the shore.

First responders performed CPR, but despite desperate attempts to save his life the 65-year-old tragically could not be revived.


According to Hawaii News Now, Maui Police spokesman Lt. Gregg Okamoto confirmed the identity of the victim on Sunday, explaining Thomas had just retired from his job this year.

A woman named Allison Keller witnessed the awful scene, and explained how the emergency services attempted to save the doctor’s life.

Man dies after being mauled by sharkHawaii News Now

She said:


It was really traumatic to see.

They pulled the man up. He looked unconscious when they transferred him to the other gurney. And we could see that they were trying to do CPR on him.

As we got closer, I saw some blood on his stomach and then I got looking a little bit more and his wrist, it looked like the skin on his wrist was just torn off.

[H]is entire left leg from his knee down was just missing. There was no blood or anything.

Thomas’ wife could reportedly be heard screaming as her husband was pulled from the water.

Flowers mourn man who died after being mauled by sharkHawaii News Now

In the wake of the incident, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) put warning signs up around the area, and an officer reportedly spent the day on the beach ensuring no one went into the water.


According to the DLNR, as per Hawaii News Now, there have been five fatal shark attacks off Hawaii since 2004, and all five happened in Maui waters.

Man dies after being mauled to death by sharkHawaii News Now

The latest shark attack death is reportedly the first in the area for four years.

The incident is truly tragic; our thoughts are with Thomas’ friends and family at this time.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, California, Hawaii, shark, shark attack


Hawaii News Now
  1. Hawaii News Now

    California doctor vacationing on Maui identified as victim of fatal shark bite