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German tourist loses her arm in Hawaii shark attack

By Leslie Bentz and Tina Burnside, CNN
August 15, 2013 -- Updated 1139 GMT (1939 HKT)
A woman is in critical condition after a shark attack in Maui.
A woman is in critical condition after a shark attack in Maui.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • This is the fourth shark attack in Maui this year
  • It took place about 50 yards offshore
  • Officials will decide Thursday if the beach can reopen

(CNN) -- A German tourist was in critical condition after a shark severed her right arm while she snorkeled in Hawaii on Wednesday, authorities said.

The approximately 20-year-old woman, who was unconscious when first responders arrived, was taken to Maui Medical Center for treatment, according Lee Mainaga with the Maui Fire Department.

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The attack took place about 50 yards offshore at White Rock beach in Maui. The beach has been closed one mile on either side of where the attack happened.

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Officials will assess on Thursday morning whether the beach can be reopened.

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This shark attack is the fourth in Maui this year, with two happening on the same day in February, and the other in late July.

While shark attacks have been on the uptick in recent years, according to the University of Florida, the fatality rate in the United States is just 2%.

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