German woman has arm bitten off in Hawaii shark attack

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A German woman had her right arm bitten off after being attacked by a shark while swimming in Hawaii, authorities said on Thursday.

The 20-year-old woman was snorkeling in murky waters approximately 50 yards offshore at a beach on Maui island on Wednesday when the horror unfolded, Maui County officials said in a statement.

It was the seventh shark attack in Hawaiian waters this year, and the fourth in Maui.

"We heard screaming from the water and it was this unbelievable scream like I've never heard before," witness Andree Conley-Kapoi was quoted as saying by the local news site.

"The only time anybody would scream like that is if they are being attacked by a shark."

The woman was helped out of the water by two male friends swimming nearby and another individual on a kayak.

She was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Centre (MMMC) where her condition was initially given as critical.

An update on the woman's condition was unavailable on Thursday.

Maui County Ocean Safety officials said Thursday the beaches surrounding Palauea Beach where the attack took place had reopened.

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