Egypt Hunts Shark After Tourists Savaged

Red Sea beaches closed after swimmers lose limbs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 1:46 AM CST
Egypt Hunts Shark After Tourists Savaged
An oceanic whitetip swims with pilot fish in the Red Sea.   (Peter Koebl/Wikimedia)

Egypt has closed beaches in the Sharm el-Sheik resort area while it hunts a shark that savaged three Russian tourists and a Ukrainian. The shark attacked swimmers near a Red Sea beach on Tuesday, biting both of one tourist's arms off, the Telegraph reports. Another tourist had to be resuscitated after being bitten on the legs and back. On Wednesday, a snorkeler had both of her arms bitten off by what is believed to have been the same shark.

Officials say the shark is an oceanic whitetip, a deep-water shark that rarely attacks humans. "It's abnormal behaviour; this shark hasn't just decided to be in the wrong place at the wrong time—there must have been a specific activity or event that brought it there," a shark expert tells the Guardian. "Something has brought this animal to the area and made it think dinner, and it's likely that it involves something being put in or on the water." (More shark attack stories.)

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