Another terrifying shark attack report has emerged here in Hawaii on an island you may never hear of but will soon. So just how serious is the danger, which we are in no way attempting to downplay? Or is this report about something else entirely? Whatever it is, we will definitely want to watch the show now. The film crew reported no footage.
As you know, shark attacks remain an extraordinarily rare yet real and terrifying concern for those who enjoy the ocean, snorkeling, swimming, and surfing in Hawaii.
What happened in the Hawaii shark attack far north of Honolulu?
Netflix was filming at a remote uninhabited island far north of Honolulu when they say their boat was almost destroyed in what they called a tiger shark of “horrific” proportions. They reported the attack was by two 15′ long hungry tiger sharks.
The crew was onboard inflatable boats, filming a climate series entitled “Our Planet II,” narrated by David Attenborough. They reported, “The original idea was to do an underwater shoot with the tiger sharks waiting in the shallows at Laysan.”
Where is Laysan (Kauō), Hawaii?
We also had to look at the atlas, as Laysan doesn’t come up in everyday conversation. Located 808 nautical miles (same as our area code for Hawaii) northwest of Honolulu, it’s part of the renowned Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument with diverse marine life. The Hawaiian name for the island, “Kauo,” means “egg.” Midway is the most commonly known atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and Laysan is the second largest landmass in this long stretch of atolls and seamounts.
Laysan is ecologically significant as it is critical for seabird breeding, including the Laysan albatross, for which the island was named. Access to the island is restricted due to ecological concerns, and special permission is required from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Netflix crew was there to film the Laysan albatross and said, “the first day the tiger sharks were around, the crew got into these inflatable boats — and two sharks attacked them. It was like something out of Jaws. The crew panicked and basically made an emergency landing on the sand. Suffice to say, they didn’t get any underwater shots.”
They added, “this tiger shark leaped at the boat and bit huge holes in it. The whole boat exploded. We were trying to get it away, and it wasn’t having any of it. It was horrific. That was the second shark that day to attack us.”
The crew believed that the sharks were unusually hungry.
So just how worried should you be about a Hawaii shark attack?
Sharks are present in the ocean around Hawaii, and we have tips below to safeguard yourself while taking in Hawaii’s stunning waters.
Prior to this announcement, an unconfirmed attack on Maui took place. A 60-year-old visitor from Washington State saw a large shark swimming in the water 225 feet off the beach around noon. He was swimming with his wife and reported her disappearance when he swam to shore. With the assistance of Ocean Safety and the Maui Fire Department, rescuers from the US Coast Guard began looking for the woman. Throughout the remainder of Thursday and Friday, the search continued. The state DLNR confirmed the presence of a 10- to 12-foot tiger shark in the vicinity, but they did not specify by whom.
Shark warning signs have since been removed, but the woman and her husband’s identities have not been made public.
How serious is the issue of Hawaii shark attacks historically?
Between 1828 and 2020, there were 152 shark attacks in Hawaii, and 17 fatalities, according to the International Shark Attack File, the only scientifically documented, comprehensive database of all known attacks on sharks, including Hawaii. On Oahu and Maui is where the majority of these attacks have taken place. However, shark attacks can occur at any beach in Hawaii, so you should always exercise caution. Hawaii DLNR maintains a list of all Hawaii shark incidents.
Hawaiian waters are home to a number of shark species, including tiger sharks, great white sharks, and hammerhead sharks. Tiger sharks are best known for aggressive and curious behavior, being responsible for the majority of attacks in Hawaii. Even though there is a very small chance of being attacked by a shark in Hawaii, it is still important to be aware of the dangers and take precautions to protect yourself and others while enjoying the islands’ beautiful waters.
To avoid Hawaii shark attacks, begin with some basic safety guidelines.
- Don’t swim or surf near river mouths that attract sharks.
- Avoid surfing and swimming at dusk, dawn, or at night, when sharks may be the most active.
- Don’t wear shiny or bright jewelry or clothing.
- Be in the water where there’s a lifeguard or have someone with you.
What the state of Hawaii says about shark attacks.
“The chances of being bitten by a shark are less than one in a million. The likelihood of being seriously harmed by a shark is significantly lower than that. However, given the unusual nature of shark bites and the tendency of some media to sensationalize them, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when they do occur, they frequently attract attention far beyond the risk.”
The state DLNR describes “very rare occasions when sharks bite humans” as the most fascinating and terrifying aspect of shark behavior. “And when bites occur, they result in widespread attention, particularly if injuries are severe or even fatal.
Tiger sharks in Hawaii waters.
The majority of shark-related fatalities or serious injuries in Hawaii involve tiger sharks. They are viewed as one of the world’s three most hazardous sharks. Due to their size and willingness to consume almost anything, tigers are of concern. They will eat anything that comes to the surface of the ocean. When a shark believes an object is food, it may bite.
Sharks are important apex predators in Hawaii.
One-third of the shark species are in danger. They play a crucial role in maintaining the species that are below them in the ocean food chain, removing the sick and weak, and contributing to diversity balance. The health of our marine environment is shown by their presence.
Sharks are revered by Native Hawaiians as family protectors (aumakua). These are thought to be ancestors who reincarnated as family members’ animal protectors.