Shark Attacks in Red Sea Lead to Tourist Injuries, Beach Closure

Posted Dec 2nd 2010 10:43 AMUpdated Dec 2nd 2010 11:28 AM

TEXT SIZE:

AAA
A shark hunt is underway in a popular Egyptian resort area on the Red Sea after four tourists were badly injured in in separate shark attacks.

Officials believe an adult oceanic white tip shark caused the injuries, reports the Daily Mail.

Egyptian authorities have closed beaches and banned watersports along the coastline of Sharm El-Sheikh on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula after the four tourists – three Russians and one Ukrainian -- were injured in separate incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Two of the victims lost limbs, authorities say. One woman needed to be resuscitated after her legs and back were injured, a man suffered "serious injuries" to his legs and another man lost an arm, according to press reports. All four victims were flown to Cairo for medical treatment, and were in critical condition.

The tourist area where the attacks occurred is a popular spot for divers and snorkelers.

Diving instructor Hassan Salem says he saw the shark before it attacked a couple. He says he was able to scare the creature away by blowing bubbles in its face, but then saw the shark bite the woman, and the water turn red with blood.

Search teams have been organized by the government to find the creature.

"All beaches along the coast of southern Sinai will stay shut until the search for the shark is completed," Governor Mohamed Shawsha of the South Sinai's district told reporters.

There are some fears more than one shark may be close to shore. White tip sharks are regularly found in deep water in the Red Sea, but it is rare for the creatures to venture into shallow water.

Officials say they hope to capture the shark alive and release it back into the wild in a remote area. White tip sharks are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a threatened species.

In October, a shark bit off the leg of a 19-year-old college student who was boarding off a beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Lucas McKaine Ransom bled to death.

Filed Under: News