California man reports shark attack off Maui

The Associated Press
Thursday January 03, 2002

OLOWALU, Hawaii — Olowalu beaches reopened Wednesday after a one-day closure following a shark attack on a California man about 100 yards offshore, authorities said. 

Thomas Holmes, 35, of Los Angeles suffered a two-inch cut and several scratches on his back side in the Tuesday incident and was expected to recover from his injuries, Maui police Sgt. Don Simpson said. 

The man was able to swim to safety and was in good condition when he came onshore, Simpson said. 

Holmes said he and his girlfriend were snorkeling about 1 p.m. in 40 feet of water when they saw the shark and began swimming toward shore. The shark caught up with him. 

“I pounded his nose. I got two good shots at him,” said Holmes, adding that his injuries required about 35 stitches. 

Holmes and witnesses described what appeared to be a tiger shark about six feet in length, Simpson said. 

Police closed the beach to swimmers after the incident and referred the matter to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.