Fatal shark attack in Egypt

6th Dec 2010
Fatal shark attack in Egypt

A 70-year-old German tourist has died in a shark attack off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh – the latest in a series of shark attacks in the Red Sea over the past five days.

British holiday companies, including Thomson and First Choice, have cancelled all water sports and boat trips in the popular Egyptian resort following the attacks, which have sparked a panic akin to the movie “Jaws”.

The UK Foreign Office has also warned holidaymakers to be on their guard at the resort.

According to security officials quoted by the Associated Press, the woman’s arm was severed in the attack and she died within minutes.

Last week three Russians and a Ukrainian were badly injured.


The Egyptian authorities had said they were confident that the capture and killing of two sharks on Thursday had eliminated the threat to swimmers but the latest attack has reignited fears.

A 48-hour ban on entering the water had been lifted yesterday but all watersports, except for diving sites, have been closed again following today’s attack.

Around three million tourists visit Sharm el-Sheikh each year, with the winter months peak season. The Red Sea, with its exotic fish and spectacular corals, is a magnet for divers and snorkellers.

Last week’s victims were thought to have been attacked by an oceanic whitetip shark, which rarely swims close to the shore. Experts blamed tourists for throwing food into the water to lure fish in order to get a better close-up view.

“It is clear from our initial discussions with shark behavioural experts that this highly unusual spate of attacks by an oceanic whitetip shark was triggered by an activity, most probably illegal fishing or feeding in the area,” Gabr said in a statement on Friday.


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