In the Egyptian seaside resort of Hurghada, there are apparently two victims after shark attacks. Shortly after the violent death of an Austrian, the Ministry of the Environment reported a second body found in the sea. Whether it was the same shark is unclear.
In Egypt, a second woman has apparently been attacked and killed by a shark while swimming in the Red Sea. The Egyptian Environment Ministry spoke on Sunday of two women who were attacked by a shark on Friday in Sahel Hashish south of the seaside resort of Hurghada. The ministry did not disclose the nationality of the women killed on its Facebook page.
According to a Reuters report, the second woman killed is said to be a Romanian in her late 40s. She was discovered several hours after the first attack, the news agency reported, citing two anonymous sources. Accordingly, the second shark attack happened just 600 meters away. It is unclear whether both attacks were carried out by the same shark.
It was first announced on Saturday that an Austrian woman had died after a shark attack. The shark approached the 68-year-old woman while she was swimming, according to medical circles in Hurghada late on Saturday evening. She suffered shock and died in hospital. The Russian agency Ria Novosti reported that the woman lost an arm and a leg in the attack. The Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Vienna confirmed the death of an Austrian without giving any further details. According to medical circles in Egypt, she was married to an Egyptian and lived in Hurghada on the Red Sea. "I'm just going into the water for a moment," she is said to have whispered to her Egyptian partner, according to the British tabloid "Daily Mail".
Tourists watched the horrific scenes from the beach and from a jetty. Video of the incident shows the woman trying to get to safety in red-dyed water. Meanwhile, men from the jetty try to pull her out of the water with a rope.
The incident happened in a bay south of Hurghada. The beach was closed for three days. The Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) informed its members of the sighting of a mako shark in the area following the incident. Water sports such as diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing and windsurfing are not permitted in the area during this time, it said. Mako sharks can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour. When fully grown, they can be over four meters long and weigh over 500 kilograms.
The Red Sea is a popular destination for divers, among others. Shark attacks are actually very rare there. However, there have also been isolated cases of deadly attacks. In 2018, a tourist from the Czech Republic died after a shark attack, as did a German in 2015 and a German pensioner in 2010. The animals may be attracted by rubbish or - actually forbidden - food and bait from excursion boats.
For dive operators who also offer shark dives, the predatory fish are an important source of income. According to Mahmoud al-Hanafi, a professor of marine biology at Suez Canal University, a shark with a lifespan of 20 years can be worth up to four million dollars in economic terms. Hammerhead sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and silky sharks live in the Red Sea. Feeding them or baiting them with raw meat is prohibited.