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
Ben Little, right, is a Labour supporter while Jonathan Rogers supports the Green Party
general election 2015
News
The 91st Hakone Ekiden Qualifier at Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo, 2014
news
Life and Style
Former helicopter pilot Major Tim Peake will become the first UK astronaut in space for over 20 years
food + drinkNothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
News
Kim Wilde began gardening in the 1990s when she moved to the countryside
peopleThe singer is leading an appeal for the charity Thrive, which uses the therapy of horticulture
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring a second for Arsenal against Reading
football
Life and Style
health
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Life and Style
Buyers of secondhand cars are searching out shades last seen in cop show ‘The Sweeney’
motoringFlares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
  • 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: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own