A female French tourist was attacked and killed by a shark while snorkelling at the Saint John’s reefs in the Red Sea. The first fatal shark attack in Egypt for five years.
The woman’s leg showed visible bite marks, and medics said she probably bled to death before being lifted to the surface.
The shark was an oceanic white tip. Although inexperienced divers sometimes confuse it with the white tip reef shark, the oceanic shark is much bigger, stockier and often accompanied by pilot fish. Whereas the reef shark is no threat to divers, the oceanic white tip is one to be wary of and treated with respect. It is almost fearless and credited with many open-ocean attacks on people after air or sea disasters.
Saint John’s is in the Southern Egyptian Red Sea. It is a popular destination for divers, a place where you often see large pelagic species. If you should encounter a oceanic white tip it is advisable to stay close to the reef and not to make any sudden movements.
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