A tourist was bitten by a shark on Maui's north coast

A visitor was left in "critical condition" after a "severe bite" by a shark while swimming off Maui's north coast on Saturday. The event caused Labor Day beach closures.

According to a DLNR press release, the event happened Saturday in Paia Bay. The 51-year-old Frenchwoman was swimming 100 yards off shore in murky water, according to police.

According to Maui County's social media, witnesses spotted the lady "in trouble and required aid." Bystanders assisted Medic and Fire services treat the woman's wounds, authorities said.

Maui County's communications director said the beaches reopened Monday morning.

John Titchen, Honolulu's Chief of Ocean Safety, told USA TODAY that shark attacks are "rare or sporadic." Channels, ports, and murky water attract more sharks near the islands.

After a shark attack, lifeguards monitor the area for 24 hours and the Fire Department uses a helicopter or drones for overhead observation, he added.

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