German Tourist in Hawaii Dies After Shark Attack
(MAUI, Hawaii) — The German woman who was bitten by a shark while snorkeling in Hawaii has died.
Jana Witteropp, 20, was listed in extremely critical condition at the Maui Medical Center since the incident exactly one ago Wednesday. She had been on life support until she died.
Last Wednesday, Witteropp had been snorkeling about 75 feet offshore of Palauea Beach, also known at White Rock Beach, off Maui, Hawaii, when a shark attacked, biting her just below the shoulder.
“As we were walking up to the beach we heard this scream, this blood-curdling scream out in the water,” Rick Moore, 57, of Orange County, Calif., told ABC affiliate KITV after the attack.
Moore, a high school teacher and pastor, headed directly to Witteropp. A nightmarish scene greeted him as he approached the bloody victim.
“All she had hanging out on her right arm was her bone, and she was in and out of saying these words, ‘I’m dying, I’m going to die,’” Moore said. “I kept saying ‘No you’re not, you’re not, I’m going to get you to shore, I’m going to save you.’”
He carried Witteropp, who was fading in and out of consciousness due to a loss of blood, back toward shore. Nicholas Grisaffi, visiting from Laguna Beach, Calif., met the two of them in the water and assisted in the rescue effort.
“I went out in about neck-deep water,” Grisaffi told KITV. ”As soon as he got to me I was able to grab his arm. And he was able to still hold on to her and I pulled them up to waist-deep water.”
While waiting for help to arrive, Moore performed CPR on Witteropp in an attempt to keep her conscious and breathing.
Shark attacks in Hawaii appear to be on the rise. There have been eight shark incidents so far this year; three of them have been on Maui. There was 11 recorded incidents last year as well as compared to 11 total in a four year span from 2008 to 2011.
Witteropp’s death comes one day after state officials announced a plan to monitor sharks around Maui.
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