Tourist dies after 'losing arm and leg' in shark attack at popular Egyptian resort

·2-min read
Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt
Sahl Hasheesh, Egypt

A woman has died after being attacked by a shark which tore off her arm and leg while she was at a popular beach in Egypt, according to local reports.

The unnamed 68-year-old Austrian woman managed to swim back to shore and was put into an ambulance but subsequently died of a heart attack.

Video footage of the attack showed the water turn red with blood as horrified tourists looked on. In the video, a number of Russian tourists can be heard complaining about the lack of lifeguards.

The attack unfolded in the Red Sea near the resort of Sahl Hasheesh, which is popular with budget-conscious Egyptian and Israeli tourists.

"Holy f---, she's covered in blood. The shark bit her arm off. Where is the rescue team? She's going to f------ die," panicked Russian tourists can be heard saying as they film her in footage on social media, according to reports.

One man can be seen throwing a rope as the woman bravely swims back towards the beach, though no one got into the waters to assist her.

When she reached the beach, the woman, who according to local reports was married to an Egyptian man, received CPR. But she then died of a heart attack inside the ambulance. Egyptian authorities have since closed off the beach.

Shark attacks are rare in Egypt but the Red Sea contains reef sharks and oceanic white tip sharks.

In 2020, a Ukrainian child and his tour guide lost their limbs after they were attacked by sharks in Egypt at the Ras Mohammed resort.

The issue of shark attacks also became a heated debate in Egypt in 2010 when five attacks happened in as many days. During those attacks, three Russians, one Ukrainian and one German tourist were wounded.

It is unclear why the shark that attacked the Austrian woman this week had swum into shallow waters. During the 2010 incident, there was speculation that meat carcasses dumped overboard near the coast may have lured in sharks.

Scientists say sharks do not regard humans as a food source but may attack if they feel threatened or cornered in the water. Attacks may also occur if a shark confuses a human for its normal prey.

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