Pennsylvania woman dies in the Bahamas after being attacked by bull shark while snorkeling
NASSAU, BAHAMAS: A cruise ship passenger died after being attacked by a bull shark while snorkeling with her family. The victim, a woman, was mauled by the predator on Tuesday, September 6 at Bahamas.
The 58-year-old woman, a resident of Pennsylvania, was pulled from the water by her relatives and a tour operator. She was then admitted to a hospital, where she died of her injuries. According to CBS News, her family believes she was attacked by a bull shark.
Bull sharks are known for their aggression and marine experts say their cannibalistic instincts help them survive in the wild. Male bull sharks grow up to seven feet long, while females exceed 11 feet.
The Sun reported that, according to experts at the Florida Museum of Natural History, the last recorded shark attack in the Bahamas happened in 2018. Bahamas police spokeswoman chief superintendent Chrislyn Skippings said the incident was “unfortunate”.
The woman was a passenger on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas, which started its journey in Florida on Sunday, September 4. The victim's family arrived in the Bahamas on Tuesday, September 6, after which a private boat company took them to Rose Island, an island near Nassau.
The area was closed after the attack. As per The Sun, the cruise line said, "Royal Caribbean is providing support and assistance to the guest's loved ones during this difficult time."
In a seperate incident, a snorkeler, who has not been identified, suffered a leg injury after reportedly being bitten by a blue shark off the coast of Cornwall in southwestern England. As per reports, the attack took place on July 28 near Penzance.
The unidentified woman was snorkeling with sharks on an organized trip out of Cornwall when the horrifying incident took place. According to CNN, the attack is believed to be the first of its kind in British waters since 1874, shows the record by the UK-based charity Shark Trust. The report cited the statement made by the spokesperson from the Maritime Coastguard Agency, who said, "HM Coastguard sent Penzance Coastguard Rescue Team to meet a snorkeler who suffered a suspected shark bite. The coastguard was notified just before 12.30 pm on Thursday (July 28). It is believed the swimmer suffered a leg injury. The coastguard team met the casualty at Penzance harbour to assist with passing them into the care of the ambulance service."
Blue Shark Snorkel Trips, which organized the tour, said in a statement on Facebook that "these occurrences are extremely rare and can be easily misunderstood." It further read, "As we know, these things can happen when we choose to interact with wild animals in their own environment. The last thing we want is to let speculation drive the media into a world of bad press for the sharks, under no fault of their own. We immediately enacted our emergency response plan, with first aid being carried out on the person involved. Following advice and assessment from the coastguard, the person walked off the boat and received further treatment ashore."