Tourist dies in Egypt shark attack

Body of German tourist washes up on shore of Sharm el-Sheikh, just days after four divers were injured by sharks.

Two sharks were caught and killed in the area soon after the first attacks were reported [EPA] 

A German tourist has been killed by sharks in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Shekih,just days after a string of attacks injured several divers at the Red Sea resort.

The body of the 70-year-old woman, missing part of her right thigh and right elbow, was washed onto the shore, Egyptian health officials said on Sunday.

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 latest victim, who has not been named, was inside the area where swimming had been banned.

Sharks killed

Shark attacks are extremely rare off 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,” Rolf Schmid, the manager of the Sinai Diver’s Centre, said.

“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 first attacks, but there were doubts over whether the sharks had been correctly identified.

Conservation concerns

But the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA) said that photographs of the dead sharks and pictures taken shortly before one of the attacks did not appear to show the same fish.

The conservation group warned against “randomly catching and killing” sharks in the area.

Arm Ali, the Director of HEPCA, told Al Jazeera: “We are talking about an area that has major natural resources … and you cannot start eliminating sharks and taking them out of the water because an incident or two happened.

“This … happens every one or two years. We have frenzied sharks in the water because of illegal fishing, because of zero enforcement on long-line fishing, but we cannot start emptying our national parks of sharks until we find the suspected one.”

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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