First Shark Fatality
Very sad news is circulating through kayak fishing circles that the sport has suffered its first shark fatality of the Maui coast.
Reports indicate that a kayak angler who was using lures to catch baitfish had at least one of his feet that were trailing in the water bitten off. A tourniquet was applied and he was rushed to a nearby charter boat who in turn rushed him to the shore, then hospital but unfortunately the kayak angler never made it. It is unclear when he was pronounced dead. Also unknown is the species of shark involved in the attack. Rest in Peace and thoughts and sincere condolences are extended to the man’s family and friends.
A shocking incident like this really drives home some of the dangers that we can encounter as kayak anglers in Ireland. Granted, Ireland is not home to some of the more aggressive warm water shark species and a shark attack in Irish waters is unlikely but not impossible. Blues and porbeagles are regularly spotted close to the surface. That thought alone is making me seriously reconsider my habit of trailing my feet over the side of the kayak.
Other issues in Irish waters probably seem a bit more tame but are potentially just as deadly. Not paying attention to the weather forecasts, not carrying a VHF radio and safety equipment, going after big game unprepared and with inappropriate gear and tackle and even not knowing how to self rescue are all factors that could lead to an equally tragic story in Irish waters.
Some incidents are freak occurrences, many are not and can be prevented. Please, treat the water with care and respect and please let nobody’s next venture be their last.
Stay safe and sensible and to the poor kayak angler in Maui waters; RIP.