Shark kills German woman at Egyptian resort

A shark killed a German tourist who had been swimming near the shore at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, days after a string of attacks injured several divers, Egypt health officials said.

The body of the 70-year-old woman was washed onto the shore. Officials said she had lost her right thigh and right elbow.



Egypt imposed a 48-hour ban on swimming in part of the waters off Sharm el-Sheikh after four divers - three Russians and a Ukrainian - were injured by shark attacks last week.



It was unclear whether the woman, who has not been named, was inside the area where swimming had been banned.



Shark attacks are extremely rare in Sharm el-Sheikh, one of Egypt's most popular holiday destinations, but international media attention raised concerns they may affect tourism, an important source of employment and foreign exchange.



"It is unusual to have four attacks in a week," said Rolf Schmid, manager of the Sinai Diver's Centre.



"The attack happened in a shallow area called Middle Garden north of Naama Bay, and the whole area hasn't had sharks for the past 10 to 15 years."



The environment ministry said on Thursday that it had caught and killed the two sharks behind the attacks on the divers. But a marine NGO then said they had killed the wrong sharks.



The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) said that photographs of the dead sharks and pictures of the attack shark taken shortly before one of the attacks showed they were not the same fish.



"Comparing the photographs of the oceanic whitetip shark responsible for the second attack with the images of the captured oceanic whitetip shark, it is clear that they don't show the same individual," HEPCA said in a statement.



The NGO said shark attacks were "extremely rare" and warned against "randomly catching and killing" large oceanic sharks in the area. The recent attacks were probably carried out by a single shark behaving abnormally, it said.



The last death from a shark in Egypt was in June 2009, when a French woman was attacked in the leg while diving at Marsa Alam on the southern Red Sea coast then likely bled to death as she swam to the shore.



In 2004, a shark attacked and killed a snorkeler near Sharm el-Sheikh, according to the Global Shark Attack File Website http://www.sharkattackfile.net.



Some believe the killer shark had been drawn to the area after cattle and sheep being brought in for last month's Islamic feast of the sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha, had died at sea and were thrown overboard.



"A shark can eat only once a month," said Schmid. "A possible reason for the attacks is that the week before Eid, cattle and sheep imported from Australia die in the long voyage and are thrown in the shore before the ships reach the harbour," he said. "This attracts predator sharks to such areas."



Tourism officials were discussing how to contain the potential damage to the resort's reputation from the attacks.



"Right now, we are assessing our situation - there is a meeting that will take place right now to discuss how we can go forward," said Hesham Gabr, head of the Diving and Maritime Activities Chamber.



Mahmoud Hanafy, adviser to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA), said the news of the attacks had been blown out of proportion by the way the authorities were handling it.



"This should have no implications on the tourism industry, and its effect should not be exaggerated," Hanafy said. "One or two attacks mean noting at the end of the day but poor handling of these attacks is creating panic among people."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat