Last updated: 02:48 PM ET, Sun March 22 2015

Red Sea Shark Attack Kills German Tourist

Destination & Tourism | Michael Isenbek | March 22, 2015

Red Sea Shark Attack Kills German Tourist

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock/Whitepointer

A shark has killed a 52-year-old German tourist swimming off an Egyptian Red Sea resort in the city of al-Qusair, said the BBC. The aquatic predator reportedly bit off the man’s leg at the knee.

The species of shark has not been determined, but an oceanic whitetip is believed to be responsible. The last attacks in the area, occurring in rapid succession in 2010, with one fatality, are theorized to have been carried out by that variety of shark. As a result of those incidences, the major resort of Sharm el-Sheikh was forced to close for a week. Also, in 2009, a Frenchwoman was killed by a shark in the area. Egypt is one of the world’s top diving destinations.

The German embassy in Cairo acknowledged the death of its countryman, but had no further comment.

Shark attacks are exceedingly rare, but if you should come face to face with one, said, “If attack is imminent, defend yourself with whatever weapons you can, advises the ReefQuest Centre for Shark Research. ‘Avoid using your [bare] hands or feet if you can avoid it; if not, concentrate your blows against the shark's delicate eyes or gills.’ A shark's snout is also said to be sensitive.”

If a shark actually gets you in its jaws, George Burgess from International Shark Attack File  advised to “be as aggressively defensive as you are able. 'Playing dead' does not work. Pound the shark in any way possible. Try to claw at the eyes and gill openings, two very sensitive areas."

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