Shark kills two tourists 600 meters apart off the coast of the Red Sea in Egypt

(ORDO NEWS) — A section of the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea was closed by the authorities on Saturday after a shark killed an Austrian woman who was swimming near the resort of Hurghada the day before.

A 68-year-old woman who lost her leg and arm in a shark attack died shortly after she was taken to the Nile Private Hospital in Hurghada, an Egyptian health official said.

She was barely alive when she was brought in on Friday, the official said, adding that attempts by medical personnel to resuscitate her were unsuccessful. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he had no right to communicate with journalists.

According to an internal document from the Red Sea provincial governor’s office made available to the Associated Press (AP), authorities were to close the area for three days, banning all “sea activities” including diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and kitesailing. Fishing boats were also banned from the waters off Hurghada.

A video circulating online allegedly shows a mako shark attacking a woman relatively close to shore as viewed from a nearby pier. In the video, the water around the woman turns red with blood as passers-by on the pier toss her a flotation device. It remains unclear how she was able to get to shore.

In recent years, shark attacks in the coastal zone of the Red Sea in Egypt have been relatively rare. In 2020, a boy from Ukraine lost his arm and an Egyptian tour guide lost his leg in a shark attack.

In 2010, a shark attack killed one European tourist and injured several others off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula, across the Red Sea from Hurghada.

Egyptian Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, are among the country’s top beach destinations and are popular with European tourists. Divers are drawn to the steep bluffs of coral reefs right off the coast that offer rich and colorful marine life.

In recent years, the authorities have been trying to revive the vital tourism sector, which has been hit by years of instability and, more recently, by the coronavirus pandemic.

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