Tourist killed in latest shark attack incident

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Tourist killed in latest shark attack incident

6th December 2010

A German holidaymaker has been killed after a fifth shark attack on the same stretch of Egyptian coast in a week.

The 70-year-old woman had been swimming off the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Witnesses described hearing screams for help as she was mauled by the animal while swimming close to a reef.

Katherine Allen, head of the Travel and International Litigation team with Fentons Solicitors LLP, said this latest attack came after two sharks had already been caught in the area. "After four people were hurt in two separate attacks, an oceanic whitetip shark and a mako shark were found in the waters and caught," she said. "Although experts had warned there was at least one shark still at large, the beaches were reopened by officials."

The dead woman, thought to be a regular at the popular resort, lost her right leg and elbow in the attack. In one of the earlier attacks, a swimmer had an arm bitten off while another lost a foot.

"According to reports, a number of expert diving instructors had been out in the waters in recent days to check for sharks after the initial catch," said Katherine. "After they found nothing, the authorities decided to re-open the dive sites and water sports activities again."

Following the latest tragedy, all watersports and diving activities have now been closed at the resort.

"It's very unusual for sharks to attack swimmers in this way, let alone for so many attacks to occur in such a short space of time," said Katherine. "One expert has gone on record saying that he believes the killer shark - believed to be another whitetip - is the same one which also carried out the previous attacks. He has also suggested that the shark may have been drawn to the coast by dead sheep which had been left in the water."

Up to four million tourists - many of which are from the UK - visit the Red Sea coast every year.

"It's important to remember that these kinds of attack are generally rare, but all holidaymakers should ensure they check for any warnings or advice from the local authorities," said Katherine. "The local coastguard and resort officials have a responsibility to ensure the safety of tourists, which includes posting warnings and imposing restrictions where appropriate."

How can Fentons Solicitors help?
Fentons has a specialist department experienced in handling claims relating to accidents or injuries sustained while travelling abroad.

If you think that you have a case or require further information, contact Fentons on 0800 019 1297 or fill in the online claims questionnaire.

Source - Sky News