Romanian woman killed in second shark attack in Egypt in days

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that a tourist from the country was killed in a shark attack while vacationing in Egypt, making it the second fatality from a shark attack in recent days.

A 68-year-old Austrian woman died on Friday after losing an arm and leg in another attack by a moka shark while swimming in the Red Sea near the resort of Hurghada. Egyptian local media widely reported the death of a second woman from a shark attack on Sunday.

Romania’s Foreign Ministry said it was working to identify the victim, notify the family and arrange for the body to be repatriated.

On Saturday, the Egyptian authorities blocked a section of the Red Sea coast after the death of the Austrian. They banned water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing and kite sailing. Fishing boats were also banned from the waters off Hurghada.

A video circulating online is said to show the attack, in which the Austrian woman was killed relatively close to shore, as seen from a nearby pier. In the video, the water around the swimmer turns red with blood as bystanders on the pier throw a flotation device at her. It was unclear how she was able to get to shore.

Shark attacks have been relatively rare in Egypt’s Red Sea coastal region in recent years. In 2020, a Ukrainian boy lost an arm and an Egyptian tour guide a leg in a shark attack. In 2010, a spate of shark attacks killed a European tourist and maimed several others off Sharm el-Sheikh in the Sinai Peninsula, across the Red Sea from Hurghada.

Egypt’s Red Sea resorts, including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, are among the country’s top resorts and popular with European tourists. Divers are drawn to the sheer drop-offs of the coral reefs just offshore, which offer rich and colorful marine life.

A spokeswoman for Egypt’s Environment Ministry declined to comment when asked about the second death.

Authorities have been trying in recent years to revitalize the vital tourism sector, battered by years of instability and more recently by the coronavirus pandemic and war in Ukraine. Romanian woman killed in second shark attack in Egypt in days

Dustin Huang

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