Shark Attack Kills Tourist in The Bahamas

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A 44-year-old American woman was killed in a shark attack off the Bahamas coast.

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Lauren Erickson Van Wart, from Boston, was paddle boarding with her husband off the coast of New Providence Island when the shark attacked.

They were picked up by a lifeguard boat and rushed to shore, but she died a short time later despite CPR efforts. “She was examined on scene by emergency medical technicians, who concluded that she showed no vital signs of life,” a police statement said.

Severe injuries suffered

She suffered severe leg injuries and “significant trauma to the right side of her body,” according to Bahamian police. Her husband was not injured.

The couple were on vacation at the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort. “We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the guest’s family and loved ones,” a Sandals spokesperson said.

Representatives from the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism said they support the Van Wart family.

The species of shark involved in the attack is unknown. Gavin Naylor, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, said an autopsy will likely identify the type of shark. Naylor says the Bahamas is home to at least 30 species. These include the more aggressive species like bull sharks and tiger sharks.

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There have been more than 30 recorded unprovoked shark attacks in the Bahamas. This includes two recorded shark attacks this year. One occurred last month involving a German scuba diver who is still missing, presumed deceased.

In September 2022, a family’s vacation was marred by tragedy when a 58-year-old woman was attacked by a bull shark while on a snorkeling excursion. The incident occurred at a popular destination known as Green Cay, just off the shore of Rose Island. The woman was rushed to the hospital but did not survive the injuries she had sustained.

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