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Surfer bitten by shark at busy Honolulu beach

The man was in serious condition with a leg wound after the attack Sunday morning off Ala Moana Regional Park.
Ala Moana Beach and Honolulu.
Ala Moana Beach and Honolulu.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

A surfer was hospitalized in serious condition Sunday after a shark bit his right leg in waters along Honolulu's busiest tourism district on Oahu's south shore, officials said.

The attack was reported about 7 a.m., and first responders included Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu Fire Department, said Shayne Enright, a spokesperson for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department.

Before they arrived, however, surfers "helped apply a tourniquet to his wound," she said by email.

The victim, described as a 58-year-old man, was surfing a spot called Kewalos off Kewalo Basin Harbor, which is just north of the tourist mecca of Waikiki, Enright said.

South shore beaches are home to a number of globally known surf spots, including Ala Moana Bowls, Kaisers and Canoes, some of which have been featured in film and television depictions of Hawaiian life since the 1950s.

Native Hawaiian culture often views sharks as family guardians and teaches that the fish should be regarded respectfully.

Local authorities posted signs near the attack warning beachgoers of the danger, Enright said.

"Honolulu Ocean Safety will continue to patrol the waters off of Kewalo Basin and Ala Moana after this morning's shark bite," she said.

The U.S., led by Florida's 16 incidents, reported the most unprovoked shark attacks in the world last year, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida. Of the 41 U.S. cases, one ended in death, in Hawaii.

The state accounted for five unprovoked attacks last year, the file says.

In Honolulu this weekend, high temperatures have been in the mid-80s, with surf at 2 to 3 feet, according to the National Weather Service and the private wave forecaster Surfline.