A foreign tourist visiting the most popular Bahamas on a cruise ship died on Tuesday, September 7, after being attacked by a shark.
The 58-year-old American woman was snorkeling with her family when she was attacked by a bull shark in the Green Cay Reserve, said Superintendent Chrislin Skippings of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. According to Globalnews, the traveler, whose name has not been released, arrived in the Bahamas from the American cruise company Royal Caribbean that morning.
During a stopover in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, the family took a private tour company boat excursion to snorkel at a popular spot near Rose Island. Around 2:00 p.m. local time, a bull shark attacked a woman while snorkeling.
Family members saw the attack and rushed to help the relative. Employees of the travel company helped pull the woman onto the boat and rushed to the nearest pier, where medics were waiting for them. However, on the way to the shore, the victim showed no signs of life. According to the publication, there were bite marks on the woman’s upper limbs.
The woman and her family were sailing on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Harmony of the Seas, which left Port Canaveral, Florida for a seven-day tour of the United States on Sunday. After the traveler’s death, the cruise line released a statement saying it was “providing support and assistance to the guest’s loved ones at this difficult time.”
The area where the attack took place was cordoned off and closed indefinitely to scuba divers. Authorities said the incident was under investigation. According to the International Marine Predator Attack File, the last recorded shark attack in the Bahamas occurred in 2018.
Shark attacks are extremely rare, with the Florida Museum of Natural History estimating the chance of being fatally attacked by a shark is less than one in four million. At the same time, according to experts from the museum, bull sharks attack people for no reason more often than other types of sharks. Last year, 73 cases of attacks by these animals were confirmed around the world.
Background: Bull sharks belong to the gray shark family, that is, they are the closest relatives of the blue and tiger sharks. The bull shark, unlike its counterparts, easily carries fresh water and often rises up the river for quite long distances. Many attacks by sea creatures are cases of mistaken identity and can occur when people are swimming near large schools of fish or when visibility in the water is poor. These predators may attack in self-defense when they feel threatened.