The heartbroken wife of a California man killed in a shark attack in Hawaii described on Wednesday watching helplessly from their vacation home as her husband struggled to save himself.
Gale Smiley said she was on the third floor of the couple’s home in Ka’anapali Shores, Maui, Saturday morning, when she heard her husband, Thomas, holler out.
“He was conscious,” she told The Sacramento Bee. “He was trying to get help.”
Thomas, a 65-year-old recently retired optometrist from Granite Bay, Calif., had gone out for what would be his last swim early on Saturday, when he was attacked by a shark about 60 yards from the shore.
“He wasn’t that far out. I could see him out there,” Gale said.
“It happened right in front of me. No words can express…”
The grieving woman said there were no warning signs near the water and that her husband wouldn’t have gone in had he known it was unsafe.
After the attack, she was told that authorities had been monitoring the water for earlier shark activity, she said.
“He was an advanced diver…. He was very conscious of safety,” Smiley said. “He should have been made aware when there was a problem.”
“Safety has to be a bigger priority,” she added. “Tom would like it if lessons were learned from this.”
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