CAIRO: A German tourist was killed in a shark attack while swimming near a beach in the Red Sea resort town of Marsa Alam Saturday, Youm7 reported.
The 52-year old tourist was swimming in open waters in Coraya Beach, when a shark attacked him and bit off his right leg. He was reported dead on arrival at the hospital.
The incident was described as “unprecedented” and that such attacks are “rare” in the area, Tamer Kamal, the head of the Northern Islands Protected Areas, told Youm7 Saturday.
Tourism experts in Marsa Allam ordered a maritime survey following the accident. Authorities have informed the German embassy in Egypt of the incident to receive the tourist’s body.
Thousands of tourists head to Marsa Alam every year for diving and snorkeling activities. The area is known for its colorful coral reefs and fish and clear water.
Feeding sharks and throwing food or trash in this area is banned to avoid attracting sharks near tourist destinations. Feeding sharks is believed to change their behavior and make them react more aggressively; hence pose risks for swimmers. It is believed that sharks attacks humans in mistake for their natural prey.
There was one fatal attack reported in 2009, where a French woman was killed by a shark at a remote site off the Marsa Alam coastline, after she was believed to have aggravated the shark by offering it meat.
In late December 2010, there were unusual series of attacks on swimmers in the Red Sea’s Sharm El-Sheikh by oceanic sharks that killed a German woman and injured three Russians and one Ukrainian. Egypt’s Chamber of Diving and Water Sports (CDWS) put forward theories at that time that the incidents might have been triggered due to “illegal fishing” or “feeding in the area.”