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Witnesses recall terrifying encounter after surfer is killed in shark attack
Featured Image Credit: JAY CARTER/Facebook / Hawaii News Now

Witnesses recall terrifying encounter after surfer is killed in shark attack

Jason 'Jay' Carter, 39, was surfing in Paia Bay when the tragic incident occurred

Witnesses have recalled the terrifying encounter after a surfer was killed in a shark attack off the coast of Hawaii.

Jason 'Jay' Carter, 39, from Haiku, was surfing in Paia Bay when the tragic incident occurred last Saturday (December 30).

Just before 11:30am local time, Maui Fire and ocean safety officers transported Carter via jet ski to where efforts were made to save his life, according to the county of Maui.

"Once onshore, life-saving measures were performed by first responder personnel until medic personnel arrived to transport the male to the Maui Memorial Medical Center for further treatment," a statement by local officials read.

"The 39-year-old male from Haiku later succumbed to his injuries and died," it added.

The nearby Baldwin Beach Park and Lower Paia Park were later shut as a result of the incident, officials confirmed on social media.

Jason 'Jay' Carter, 39, tragically lost his life.
Facebook/Jay Carter

Posters warning of potential sharks have been put up on display across local beaches to alert surfers and beachgoers.

An investigation surrounding the 'shark encounter' has been opened, though local officials have ruled out any signs of foul play.

The police department has also stated that an autopsy has been scheduled.

Unfortunately, many witnesses saw first hand how terrifying the fatal incident was, with one describing the condition of the water that day as 'murky'.

Ikaia Kapisi told Hawaii News Now: "The shark just came up next to him and there’s maybe one guy in between us and the shark just started biting him and pull [sic] him down and then I just was paddling in trying to call 911."

Signs are on display to warn beachgoers.

Meanwhile, another eye witness told NBC News: "The shark just started biting him and pulling him down. The dorsal fin was almost as big as his [Carter's] body, the height of it was almost as high as his head sitting on the board."

Tributes have poured in for Carter since his tragic death.

"It is a living nightmare," his cousin, Gillian Carter, told Good Morning America.

"Whether you had a lifetime with him or five minutes, you felt like a changed person because of his beautiful spirit."

His friend, Ryan Glen, wrote: “Love you, Brother. You are a Legend and so loved. We will continue to shred down here and know you will too. RIP.”

While another pal, Joel Montelongo, penned: "Oh man. Another amazing friend and an amazing person gone. Jay Carter rest easy my friend."

Topics: Health, News, Shark, Animals, US News