A 28-year-old Kailua-Kona man remains hospitalized today after suffering shark bites to his leg following an attack Tuesday afternoon at Kekaha Kai State Park in North Kona.
James Kerrigan is resting in stable condition at Kona Community Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Judy Donovan. She added Kerrigan hopes to go home tomorrow.
Kerrigan was snorkeling with several people about 30 yards offshore shortly before 1 p.m. when he reportedly spotted a tiger shark, estimated at 12 to 14 feet in length, the Hawaii Police Department said. As the man attempted to swim back to shore, the shark bit him on his right thigh and calf causing non-life-threatening injuries.
Kerrigan swam on his own strength until he reached knee-deep water where beachgoers helped him out of the water. A Hawaii County helicopter subsequently flew the him to Kona Community Hospital.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, under which the authority of the beach area falls, closed Kekaha Kai Park’s Mahaiula and Kua Bay sections following the attack. Shark warning signs were posted. It remains closed at this time.
The DLNR’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement is coordinating with the Fire Department to conduct a fly-over of the area. If no sharks are present, the beach will reopen as early as noon.