Divernet News, dateline 19 February 2004
Fatal shark attack at Sharm
A snorkeller died of blood loss after being bitten by a shark in Coral Bay, Sharm, Egypt at the weekend.
The Egyptian man was snorkelling close to shore with a group of holiday-makers on Saturday 14 February when the attack happened.
The injured man made it back to shore and was taken to hospital where he later died of shock due to blood loss.
A member of South Sinai Divers Association (SSDA) confirmed the details of the incident. "This is a one-off attack, and the last incident in Egypt was 6 - 7 years ago and was widely reported" he told Divernet.
Swimmers and snorkellers appear to be at much greater risk than divers "I haven't heard of any diver being killed by a shark out here" commented the spokesperson for SSDA. "Our problem now is that rumours are flying around about people being bitten in half, and further attacks being made on swimmers - which are exactly that: rumours. This is really an isolated incident. To be honest, most divers are keen to see sharks when they visit the Red Sea, and the real challenge is trying to find sharks for people to see."
Suspected shark attack claims life of snorkeller in Australia A 31-year-old Australian freediver who disappeared while spearfishing may have been the victim of a tiger shark. Police called off their search for Mark Bryant on Tuesday 17 February after an air and sea search produced no sign of him.
His speargun, together with a recently speared fish, was found floating at the surface by two friends who were also freediving at the same time. Several large tiger sharks were spotted in the area during the search for the missing man. Sharks are attracted to fish which have been injured or killed and the majority of attacks on divers involve spearfishing.
He may, however, simply have been the victim of a shallow water blackout - the most frequent cause of death among freedivers. The Australian authorities recently publicised the dangers of freediving to snorkellers after five fatalities in the last twelve months. Shark attacks are generally responsible for around one death per year in Australian waters.