By: Courtney Harrington
Recently, shark attacks have been prevalent in the waters around the globe; most recently off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. On December 5, a German woman was attacked by a shark while swimming. In the previous weeks, three other visitors of the country were also attacked by a shark when out snorkeling in the same area of water in the Red Sea.
Unfortunately, the woman most recently attacked died due to excessive blood loss. The 70-year-old was taking a swim off the shore of the resort at which she regularly stayed. The woman was near one of the reefs off the coast, when she yelled for someone to help her after a shark bit her arm and leg. A lifeguard was able to bring her to shore, but it was too late. He attempted to save her through resuscitation, but failed. According to the employees at the resort, the woman was attacked around noon, or five o’clock eastern time that morning.
The three other snorkelers attacked prior to the most recent incident were two Russian women and a Ukrainian man. Little is known about the injuries of the three victims. However, it has been said that one of the snorkelers is in critical condition. The attacks all took place within a 24 hour window of one another. On Friday, November 3, two sharks, a mako and a white-tipped, were killed after having been suspected to be responsible for the earlier attacks.
Due to the four accidents, the Chamber of Diving and Watersports told all members to refrain from any snorkeling activities. Also, all tourists in the area were told to stay away from and out of the waters through Monday, December 6. Volunteers set out in attempts to find the shark responsible for taking the woman’s life. That Monday, around 40 people went out looking for the shark. It is believed that the shark responsible is a white-tipped shark. According to other divers, the remains of several sheep were found in the water. Experts think that the sharks may have been attracted to the bodies, leading to the attacks of the snorkelers. Others believe the attacks could have been a result of illegal fishing or feeding in the area.
The people in the area of the attacks were in shock of the incidents and pondered over how it could have happened. “This is unnatural. It has never happened before. We have no explanation,” Zuhair Garana, Tourism Minister explained. With only high hopes of catching the shark responsible, officials and volunteers plan to keep searching until the shark is found.