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Originally published August 16, 2013 at 10:07 AM | Page modified August 18, 2013 at 11:08 AM

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Maui beach reopened after woman loses arm in shark attack

German woman’s arm severed in attack while she was snorkeling at Palauea Beach on south Maui.

Associated Press and Seattle Times

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A beach near Maui’s Makena resort community has reopened after a woman was critically injured in a shark attack.

The young German woman was snorkeling at Palauea Beach in south Maui.

Maui County emergency responders said the woman’s right arm was severed as she snorkeled about 50 yards off shore.

About two miles of beach was closed, but reopened Thursday after lifeguards and firefighters saw no sign of sharks. The beach is not as crowded as many Maui beaches and has no facilities. But swimmers and snorkelers seek it out, heading to a rocky point to see tropical fish.

The woman, who is about 20 years old, was helped to shore by two male friends and a kayaker and rushed to Maui Memorial Medical Center after the Wednesday attack.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser (bit.ly/12a6Apx) reported the attack was the fifth off Maui this year and the eighth in Hawaii, according to state data. Last year saw 11 attacks, the most in a dozen years and far above the annual average of 4.75.

The woman’s friends did not see the attack and Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga said it is assumed, but not confirmed, that she was injured by a shark. Tiger sharks are often blamed for most attacks on people.

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