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Lifeguard killed in shark attack while surfing off Hawaii’s Oahu

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File photo (Credit: Patrick Brinksma)

A shark killed a lifeguard who went surfing during his lunch break on the coast of Hawaii’s Oahu island, local officials and witnesses say. He was later identified as 49-year-old Tamayo Perry.

The attack happened just before 1 p.m. on Sunday when Perry was surfing near Goat Island, which is also known as Mokuʻauia, near the community of Laie on Oahu. Colleagues found his body and brought him to shore by jetski.

“A caller told dispatchers the man’s body appeared to have suffered more than one shark bite,” said Shayne Enright, a spokesperson for the Honolulu Emergency Services Department. “Onshore, EMS paramedics assisted with the death pronouncement.”

The victim was identified as City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguard Tamayo Perry, who began his career with Ocean Safety in July 2016. He was also a popular surfer who frequently shared his photos and videos on social media.

Perry was on his lunch break when he was attacked, officials said.

Sunday’s death marks the first fatal shark attack in the world since December 2023, when a 39-year-old surfer was killed on the north side of Hawaii’s Maui island.

While sharks are a common fear, they only kill about six people per year on average, according to figures from the International Shark Attack File (ISAF). Fourteen people were killed in shark attacks last year, which was up from nine in 2022.

Video of Perry

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