Family and friends are mourning a Bellingham, Washington, woman who died in an apparent shark attack during a Hawaii vacation earlier this month. Just days before her death, Kristine Allen wrote she was “following dreams” by learning to surf in Maui.
Allen, 60, vanished Dec. 8 while snorkeling as a large shark was seen cruising the waters near Keawakapu Point in south Maui, her husband Blake Allen told The Bellingham Herald.
The U.S. Coast Guard, the Maui Fire Department and ocean rescue teams searched for the woman from the water and by sky to no avail, and the search was called off after 40 hours.
Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesman Dan Dennison called it a “possible shark-human encounter” at Dec. 9 news conference.
Kristine Allen, called “Kristi” by her friends, was a massage therapist and life coach. A memorial is planned in the future in Bellingham, according to her husband.
In her last public Facebook post, Kristine Allen told friends how much she was excited about her vacation. “Following dreams!” she wrote . “I have wanted to learn to surf for years. I am committed to create a life I love in big and small ways.”
Allen and her husband were both snorkeling when her husband and other witnesses reported seeing what was believed to be a Tiger shark swimming about 50 yards from shore. Blake Allen told officials that he saw the shark swim by but could not see his wife. The shark swam by several times before he returned to shore and reported his wife missing, the Department of Land and Natural Resources said.
A snorkel set and part of a bathing suit were found, Hawaii News Now reported.
The incident came three months after a woman suffered a “serious” shark bite in a bay on Maui’s north shore.
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