A woman was killed during a shark attack earlier this week while paddleboarding in the Bahamas. According to a government press release, she had already died by the time rescue technicians arrived at the scene.
The paddleboarder has since been identified as 44-year-old Lauren Erickson Van Wart of Lowell, Massachusetts. According to Boston 25 News, she was three-quarters of a mile from the beach net to her Sandals Resort on the island of New Providence when the attack occurred.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the victim, along with a male relative, was paddle boarding away from the shoreline in waters at the rear of a resort in western New Providence when she was bitten by a shark,” reads a news release issued by the Royal Bahamas Police Force and later shared by CNN. ““The victim suffered significant trauma to the right side of her body.”
The incident comes on the heels of another fatal shark attack in Mexican waters. That attack occurred on Saturday, December 2 and involved an unidentified woman whose leg was reportedly severed by a shark near a beach resort on Mexico’s Pacific coast. An unverified video referenced by CNN appears to show that woman being carried from the beach with one leg missing.
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When questioned by reporters, a Bahamian tourism official said that recent shark attacks involving tourists have caused alarm in the small island nation. “As an industry, I think we can review and see if there is anything we can do to improve,” said Tourism Director General Latia Duncombe. “But we’re in the open waters. The waters are pristine. We protect sharks here in the Bahamas. It’s important that we are as responsive as we can be when these unfortunate incidences occur. Our prayers go out to [victims], but we have no control over some of those different components.”
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