Shark attacks man swimming in Egypt's Red Sea

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 Jun 2016

Shark attack in Sharm El-Sheikh 2010
A tourist walks near a red flag positioned on a beach to prohibit swimming and diving at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh after a shark killed a German tourist who had been swimming near the shore (File photo: Reuters)

A shark attacked an Egyptian man swimming "six kilometers offshore" in the Red Sea city of Ain Sokhna on Saturday, Suez governor Ahmed Helmi El-Hiatmi said.

The 23-year-old victim was transferred to Suez public hospital and had his leg amputated, state news agency MENA said. He is currently receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

"Sharks live in the Red Sea and it's normal to see them there, but the victim was swimming 6km from the beach, which makes it possible to encounter a shark," El-Hiatmi told Ahram Online.

"What may raise concerns, if we found a shark within 500 meters from the beach, where most of the locals and tourists swim," El-Haiatmi said, adding that he commissioned an environmental committee to investigate the incident. 

Shark attacks in the Red Sea resort are exceedingly rare; the last recorded sighting of sharks in Ain Sokhna occurred in 2012 when eyewitnesses saw three sharks in the area. No casualties were reported at the time.

Ain Sokhna is a popular resort town lying on the western shore of the Red Sea's Gulf of Suez, about 120 kilometres east of Cairo.

Last year, a shark killed a 52-year-old German tourist in the Red Sea governorate in the first fatal shark attack in Egypt since a string of maulings in 2010 that killed a German woman and wounded three Russian tourists in another Red Sea resort near Sharm El-Sheikh.

Following the 2010 incident, local diving experts said single shark attacks were very rare in the area and were puzzled as to why so many people were attacked in such quick succession. 

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