Boston newlywed, 44, killed in shark attack while paddleboarding in Bahamas

5 December 2023, 12:47

The woman was paddleboarding when she was attacked by the shark. (stock images)
The woman was paddleboarding when she was attacked by the shark. (stock images). Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A 44-year-old newlywed bride from Boston has been killed in a shark attack while paddleboarding in the Bahamas.

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The victim, who is yet to be identified, was killed at around 11.15am local time on Monday morning.

She had been paddleboarding with a man when she was attacked less than a mile off the western end of New Providence island, where the capital Nassau is located. The man was not injured, police said.

The woman suffered serious injuries to the right side of her body and was announced dead at the scene, despite being rescued and receiving CPR from lifeguards.

She had only gotten married the day before the attack, according to WCVB.

It was not immediately clear what type of shark mauled her.

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Royal Bahamian Police Sergeant Desiree Ferguson said: "Shortly after 11.15am police were notified that a female visitor from Boston, Massachusetts, USA was attacked by a shark.

"According to our initial reports, the female along, with a male relative were paddle boarding just at the rear of a resort in Western New Providence, some 3/4 miles out from the shoreline when she was bitten by the shark.

"A lifeguard on duty who saw what was happening went out in a rescue boat, retrieved the victim, along with the male relative and brought them to safety CPR was administered to the victim.

"However she suffered serious injuries to the right side of her body, including the right hip region and also her right upper limb.

"Emergency Medical Services responded to this scene they thoroughly assessed the victim and they declared that she show she showed no vital signs of life."

She added that it took a couple of hours to pull the woman in.

Gavin Naylor, programme director of the International Shark Attack File in Florida, said that there had only been a couple of shark-related fatalities reported in the Bahamas in the past five years.

The Bahamas has a "huge" tourist population and there are a lot of people in the water and a lot of visitors who want to view sharks from a fishing boat or dive with them, Mr Naylor explained.

"So the sharks get acclimated, and the animals are a little bit less cautious than they otherwise might be."

Mr Naylor went on to say: "Usually, it's an accidental bite. They think it's something else.

"Once in a while, they'll actually single out people, and it's very intentional."

Fatal shark attacks are rare, with only an average of five to six reported worldwide every year. Most of them occur in Australia.

Last year, there were a total of 57 unprovoked bites around the globe, the majority of them in the US, according to the International Shark Attack File.

At least 33 confirmed unprovoked shark attacks have been reported in the Bahamas since 1580, with the island ranking ninth worldwide.

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