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Double Shark Attack: Why did two European tourists in Egypt get eaten?

Shark attack

Hurghada is one of the best resorts for divers, swimmers and those that love sun and sea for a reasonable rate. But there are hungry sharks.

Near the Egyptian resort of Sahl Hasheesh, an Austrian tourist was attacked by a shark today. She lost a limb before being pulled ashore. She died in hospital.

Sahl Hasheesh is a bay located on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, near Hurghada, approximately 18 km south of Hurghada International Airport. The Sahl Hasheesh Bay is home to a number of islands and coral reefs with diving and snorkeling.

This follows a similar attack on Friday on a Romanian tourist. She was also attacked by a Mako shark while swimming in the Red Sea near the resort town of Hurghada.

The shortfin mako shark, also known as the blue pointer or bonito shark, is a large mackerel shark. It is commonly referred to as the mako shark, as is the longfin mako shark. The shortfin mako can reach a size of 4 m in length. The species is classified as Endangered by the IUCN.

Strangely, this species will not generally attack humans and does not seem to treat them as prey. Most modern attacks involving shortfin mako sharks are considered to have been provoked due to harassment or the shark being caught on a fishing line.

The question

The woman who was attacked on Friday was a tourist from Romania. On Sunday within 650 feet of the same spot, a visitor from Austria was killed. She was a 68-year-old tourist from Austria. The attack on her was watched by a group of horrified tourists.

Egyptian authorities immediately closed part of the Red Sea coast.

Diving is big business in the red sea, and even when I first went 30 years ago most dives off Sharm and Hurghada had a shark encounter…albeit without incident. You simply shouldn’t swim in the red sea unless you’re willing to accept that constant risk. No official is to blame.

The Minister of Environment For Egypt stated: Information and scientific analysis of the circumstances of the accident are being collected, according to internationally agreed protocols.

Egyptian authorities explained, that in the context of the shark attack that took place south of Hurghada, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Yasmine Fouad, announced that as soon as he received a report that two women had been attacked by a shark while practicing surface swimming in the area facing the resort of Sahl Hasheesh, south of Hurghada.

A working group was formed from specialists in the Red Sea reserves and the HEPCA Association, where Major General Amr Hanafi, Governor of the Red Sea, issued a decision to stop all human activities in the vicinity of the attack. Information from all sources and analysis of that data and information according to the protocols used globally in the investigations of shark attacks on humans.

The Egyptian Ministry of Environment confirms that a team specialized in examining the circumstances of the shark accident is still completing its tasks to find out precisely the reasons causing the sharks to attack.

The minister extended the ministries’ support to the working team, especially the Governor, Major General Amr Hefny, Governor of the Red Sea.

About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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