Friday, June 09, 2023
Egyptian authorities said Thursday a Russian national was killed in a tiger shark attack near the city of Hurghada at a Red Sea resort, forcing the closure of the coastline stretching 74 kilometres with a ban on swimming, snorkelling, and other activities till Sunday.
According to Egypt’s environment ministry, it had caught the shark and was examining it in a laboratory to try and determine the reasons for the rare attack.
The man was identified by the Russian consulate in Hurghada as its citizen.
Russian Consul-General Viktor Voropayev told TASS news agency that the deceased was a Russian national born in 1999.
"The victim was not a tourist, but a permanent resident of Egypt," Voropayev said.
People had rushed to help the victim after a lifeguard from a nearby hotel raised the alarm, but were not able to reach him in time, said a diver who arrived on the scene just after the attack.
Resorts in the Red Sea including Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh are the country’s most famous beach destinations and are popular with European tourists. Divers are attracted by the steep drop-offs of coral reefs just offshore, which offer rich and colourful sea life.
But shark attacks are rare on the Red Sea beaches.
However, there were two attacks in Hurghada within days that killed an Austrian and a Romanian tourist, in 2022.
Before that, in 2018, a tourist from the Czech was killed by a shark at a Red Sea beach. Another German was also attacked in 2015.
Tiger sharks are large species that reside in tropical and temperate waters. They are among the sharks most cited by the International Shark Attack File for unprovoked attacks on humans.