For just the first time in 2012 there has been a confirmed shark attack in Hawaii.
Joshua Holley, while surfing off the North Shore of Oahu in an area near Alligator Rock, was attacked by what is believed to be a tiger shark. Fortunately, Holley responded to the initial attack in an appropriate manner that compelled the shark to swim away and he was able to make it back to shore.
As reported in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, he sustained bite wounds to his left foot that required 42 stitches and which will require future surgery to repair tendon damage.
While any report of a shark attack is disturbing to locals and visitors alike, documented shark attacks are very rare in Hawaii waters. From 2009-2011, there were only nine confirmed attacks in Hawaii, five of which resulted in no injury at all. Those five attacks involved surfers and resulted only in damage to the surfboard.
Still, it is useful for visitors who intend to spend time in the ocean while visiting Hawaii to learn something about the sharks of Hawaii and how to avoid any unexpected encounters with the sharks that make their homes in the waters of Hawaii.