Woman bitten to death by shark off Maui swam every day, brother says

2015-05-01 12:26
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Honolulu - A 65-year-old woman bitten to death by a shark while snorkelling off the Hawaiian island of Maui loved the ocean and went swimming every day, her brother said on Thursday.

Maui County police said in a statement Margaret Cruse of the local community of Kihei was found floating in the waters of Ahihi Kinau Bay on Wednesday morning and had injuries consistent with a shark attack.

It was the first fatal shark attack in Hawaii since 2013.

Cruse, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, had lived for the past dozen years in Maui where she had many friends, her brother, Bill Cruse, said in a phone interview from Redding, California.

"She did what she wanted to do. She loved animals. Accidents happen, and I think she was aware that nature can be a hard thing sometimes," said Cruse, a retired police officer.

'She was never afraid'

He added that his sister loved the water and snorkelling.

"She went every morning ... she was never afraid of anything in the ocean because she did it so often," he said.

Deborah Ward, a spokesperson for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, said officials closed a stretch of water along the shoreline in the area after the attack but re-opened it around noon on Thursday.

Authorities did not say what type of shark attacked Cruse.

The statement from police did not describe her injuries, but her brother said he was told she had bite marks on her face, upper torso and arm, which was nearly severed.

No one is known to have witnessed the attack.

'Freak accident'

Savitri Carlson, who is part of a swim group The Maui Mermaids that Cruse swam with, said in a phone interview she was in the water in the area when Cruse was bitten, but did not see the attack.

"She was a very experienced and cautious swimmer," Carlson said. "This was a freak accident, not a lack of caution."

An autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of death, police said.

The last two fatal shark attacks in Hawaii occurred in 2013 in the same area off the coast of Maui where Cruse died. That year, a man fishing from a kayak was bitten to death by a shark and a German tourist had her arm bitten off by a shark and later died in a hospital.

University of Florida researchers said shark attacks killed three people worldwide in 2014.

Read more on:    us  |  shark attacks

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.