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Pictured: Newlywed US editor killed by a shark in front of her husband on the first day of their honeymoon
6 December 2023, 12:08
Tributes have been paid to a "beloved" newly-wed killed in a shark attack while paddle-boarding on the first day of her honeymoon.
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Police named the woman as Lauren Erickson Van Wart, 44, from Boston, Massachusetts. She had been off the coast with a male relative when the tragedy struck.
Search and rescue teams found her paddle-board floating near the scene in the Bahamas.
A lifeguard at the five-star Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort spotted the woman in distress and rushed to help. They attempted CPR, but the attack had severely injured the woman's right hip and upper limb, with attempts to revive her unsuccessful.
Paying tribute Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates where Van Wart worked as a maths editor, said: "Our team is heartbroken and grieving the loss of a dear and trusted colleague and friend.
"Lauren was a beloved member of our math editorial team, and she infused her deep dedication to students and educators into every material she touched. Her commitment to excellence and outstanding work was driven by a higher purpose, focused on improving learning outcomes for all.
"Our Curriculum Associates community is mourning this tragedy and extends our deepest love and support to Lauren's wonderful husband and all of her family."
The Royal Bahamas Police Force said the 44-year-old Boston woman had got married on Sunday and was attacked teh following day while in the ocean with her family. She was killed in waters that were fewer than one mile off the western end of New Providence Island.
It was not immediately clear what type of shark attacked the woman, although tiger sharks and bull sharks are known to live off the coast of the Bahamas.
Sergeant Desiree Ferguson with Royal Bahamian Police told reporters: "Shortly after 11:15 a.m. 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."
A spokesman for Sandals said: "We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of a guest while on a paddle boarding activity nearly a mile from the shore.
"We wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the guest's family and loved ones.
"We remain in close contact with them and are providing all support possible during this difficult time."