The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 17, 2014

Surge in shark attacks causes alarm in Hawaii

(Continued)

The fact that are very few shark attacks relative to how many millions of people are in the water is something of a credo here — from waiters to dive guides, locals are quick to point out that visitors are more likely to die in their cars on the way to the beach.

Minutes after the recent sighting of the 8-foot tiger shark off Big Beach, bolder swimmers were back in the water there and at adjacent Little Beach, a nude sunbathing spot where hundreds of people gather on Sunday nights for a drum circle.

Tadd Laton, a 20-year-old waiter who moved to Maui from San Jose, Calif., watched the night swimmers from the cliff overlooking the Little Beach drum circle. After the attacks, locals wouldn’t be in those waves at night, Laton said, and he now follows that rule too.

Still, he says he refuses to be cowed. “Life could end at any moment,” Laton said. “If I die from a shark attack, that would be a cool way to die.” But, he added, “if I see one, I’m going to head right back to shore.”

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