Maui Shark Attack: New Attack Sees Young Woman Lose Arm (VIDEO)

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(Photo: Reuters/Mike Hutchings)A Great White Shark swims past a diving cage off Gansbaai about 200 kilometres east of Cape Town.

A new Maui shark attack has left a young German woman seriously injured on Wednesday after her right arm was bitten off as she snorkeled about 50 yards off shore at Palauea Beach, south Maui.

The woman is reportedly 20 years old, and was helped back to shore by two male friends and a kayaker who was nearby.

After she was brought ashore she was rushed to Maui Memorial Medical Center for emergency medical assistance.

According to The Associated Press, a hospital spokeswoman did not immediately respond to phone messages to offer any updates on the woman's condition on Thursday morning.

The shark attack is just the latest in a series to have taken place off Maui in recent months, and is the fifth this year off Maui, and the eighth in total in Hawaii. In the whole of 2012 there were 11 shark attacks, which was the most in more than a decade. The annual average is less than five in Hawaii.

According to Maui Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga, "She screamed and called for help" as she snorkeled at the White Rock area of the beach.

An emergency call was received by authorities at about 4.41 p.m. local time.

According to eye-witnesses, the woman was helped onto the kayak by her two friends and the kayaker and was brought to shore. When she arrived on shore she was already in an extremely bad way and unconscious.

"Her right arm was severed right below the shoulder," Mainaga said. The limb was not found, he added.

County officials have since closed beaches for a mile in both directions as a precaution following the latest attack.

Authorities also put a helicopter in the air to search along the coast to look for sharks, the Land and Resources Department said in an email statement.