11/23/2020 - Female - New Caledonia

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alb
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11/23/2020 - Female - New Caledonia

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A scientist was attacked by a shark in the southwest Pacific Ocean during an expedition to study sperm whales.

The young woman was bitten on the right thigh by a tiger shark off the western coast of New Caledonia—a French overseas territory—AFP reported.

As part of the sperm whale study, scientists had anchored their boat just over half a mile away from a body of water called Saint Vincent Bay when the attack occurred.


The woman and some colleagues—including a team of videographers who were making a documentary—had moved about 60 feet away from their catamaran in order to explore the coral reefs when the shark attacked.

"The shark first circled around them, then it rose from the bottom and took on one of the swimmers," a firefighter from New Caledonia told AFP on Monday.

The firefighter said tiger shark responsible likely measured over 13 feet in length.
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The attack left the scientist with three lacerations—each about three inches wide—on her thigh, but she managed to escape and swim back to the catamaran with a colleague.

Once she reached the boat, members of the crew provided her with first aid. Subsequently, she was transported to Nouméa—the capital of New Caledonia, located around 100 miles to the south—where she received further medical intervention.

"Her life is not in danger," one member of the expedition said in a statement following the incident.

Shark attacks on humans are very rare, and incidents where people are killed by these animals are even rarer.




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