FATAL – 5 December 2010 – Sharm El Sheik, Egypt – snorkeler attacked
A 70-year-old German woman was killed by a shark – suspected to be an Oceanic White Tip – while snorkeling off Sharm El Sheik, the famous Red Sea diving destination on Egypt’s Sinai coast. The incident happened on 5 December 2010 and follows a spate of shark attacks in the same place the week earlier.
The shark reportedly tore a piece out of her thigh and severed her forearm.
Significantly, this fatal attack follows a spate of shark attacks in Sharm El Sheik the week before in which three Russians and a Ukrainian suffered severe injuries.
The attacks sent the resort area, frequented by thousands of diving enthusiasts, into a chaotic frenzy as the 30 miles of beaches were closed and a shark hunt initiated. Speculation was rife that is was a single shark responsible for the attacks. Rumours were flying that various tour operators were chumming the water to attract sharks so tourists could photograph them.
Experts were astounded, saying it is extremely rare for an Oceanic White Tip to come this close to shore and to attack swimmers and snorkelers in this way.
An Oceanic White Tip seen minutes before the first attacks on two of the Russians has been identified as the shark photographed when the German woman was attacked five days later, according to media reports.
Two of the Russians were attacked within minutes of each other in the afternoon of 30 November. The man’s legs were torn by the shark and the woman sustained injuries to her legs and back and had to be resuscitated after rescue.
The following day – 1 December – a woman snorkeler was attacked by a shark at a reef north of the city’s Na’ama Bay. Her arms were bitten off, and she was flown to Cairo for emergency treatment.
And then on 5 December came the fatal attack on the elderly German snorkeler.