Shark bites woman twice while she is swimming in Hawaii bay

Warning signs for shark sightings remain in Long Beach, California, on May 16, 2017, where Great White sharks and their pups have been sighted regularly off southern California beaches. The increase in shark sightings around the start of summer is similar to the influx seen in 2016. Marine safety officials attribute the activity to the thriving aquatic ecosystem in the area. / AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

HONOLULU (AP) — A woman was taken to a hospital Tuesday after being bitten twice by a shark while swimming in Hawaii, authorities said.

The woman, 27, was reported to be in “good health” and was expected to be released after a shark bit her while she was swimming Kealakekua (kay-ah-lah-kay-koo-ah) Bay on the Big Island’s western side, leaving her with injuries to her lower back and right hip area, police said.

Officials didn’t provide her name.

Soon after the woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition, preliminary information provided to firefighters listed her age as 26 and that the shark bit her in one of her legs and her torso, Hawaii Fire Department Battalion Chief William Bergin said. She was about 50 yards (46 meters) from shore, he said.

Bergin didn’t know if she’s a tourist or a Hawaii resident. “The shark is still in the area, so we’re trying to get people out of the water at this time,” he said.

Police said witnesses described the shark as having a gray tip. Bergin said he was told it’s possibly a 6-foot (1.8-meter) black-tip reef shark.

The bay will remain closed until at least noon Wednesday. Shark warning signs were posted on both sides of Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.

“According to local fishermen, this time of year there’s a lot of fish in the area, so it does attract a lot of sharks and dolphins birthing,” Bergin said.

The high surf also makes for poor visibility in the water, he said.

This was the ninth shark encounter reported by state officials this year, including one that was fatal. A 65-year-old man from California died after a shark bit him while he was swimming off a Maui beach park in May. Last week, a surfer in turbid water off Oahu’s west coast escaped injuries when a shark chomped on his surfboard.

There were three incidents reported last year and five in 2017.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.