Shark attack kills two women in Egypt’s Red Sea

Egypt’s Ministry of the Environment and the relevant foreign ministries for tourists said on Sunday that two women, an Austrian and a Romanian, were killed in shark attacks off Egypt’s coast this week.

“Two women were attacked by sharks while swimming”, the Egyptian ministry said on Facebook on Sunday, in the Sahl Hashish area south of Hurghada on the Red Sea, both of whom died.

Austrian news agency APA said one of the women was a 68-year-old woman from the country’s Tyrol region who was holidaying in Egypt.

Austria’s foreign ministry confirmed the “death of an Austrian citizen in Egypt” to AFP on Sunday, without providing further details.

Citing information received from Egyptian authorities, Romania’s foreign ministry confirmed to AFP on Sunday the “death of a Romanian national” that “manifested” was caused by a “shark attack” in Hurghada.

FILE PHOTO: Empty sunbeds are seen during low tide on the beach of the Red Sea resort of Sahal Hashish, Hurghada
Empty sunshine is seen during low tide on January 8, 2020 at the beach of the Red Sea resort of Sahl Hashish, Hurghada, Egypt.

Amar Abdullah Dalsh / Reuters

It is not clear whether the two women were attacked by the same shark.

Red Sea governor Amar Hanafi ordered the closure of all beaches in the region for three days on Friday “in a shark attack that appears to have torn the left arm of an Austrian tourist”.

Social media users shared a video on Friday – the authenticity, date and location of which AFP could not independently verify – showing a swimmer struggling before a pool of blood appeared around him.

The environment ministry said on Sunday that a task force was working to “identify the scientific reasons and circumstances behind the attack” and “explore the reasons behind the shark’s behaviour”.

The Red Sea is a popular tourist destination, with sharks common but rarely attacking people swimming within authorized limits.

In 2020, a young Ukrainian boy lost an arm and an Egyptian tour guide lost a leg Shark attack.

In 2018, a Czech tourist was killed by a shark on a Red Sea beach. A German tourist was killed in a similar attack in 2015.

In 2010, a flood of five strikes Sharm el-Sheikh, unusually close to the shores of the tourist destination, killed a German and injured four other foreign tourists in five days.

According to one, shark attacks will increase worldwide in 2021 after three consecutive years of decline report released In January.

Egypt is currently struggling to recover from rising inflation and currency weakness.

The country depends heavily on tourism revenue from the Red Sea, which accounts for about 65 percent of tourists visiting the country.

The tourism industry has been hit continuously over the past decade, including the country’s 2011 uprising, the ensuing unrest and the coronavirus pandemic.

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