Management for the seaside resorts in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the popular destination for scuba divers, has advised visitors to stay out of the water following five shark attacks in the past week.  The attacks left one woman dead and four others seriously injured.  Egypt’s tourism ministry closed beaches after a 70-year old German woman was killed while snorkeling, and they are to remain closed until the white tip shark assumed responsible for the attacks is captured or killed. 

The Chamber of Diving and Watersports has asked its members to “stop any snorkeling activities happening from any boats or shore,” and travel companies in the area have suspended all water-based excursions.  According to the UK Foreign Office website, “Attacks by oceanic white tip sharks are extremely rare, and shark attacks of any kind are very unusual in the Red Sea.” Officials are unsure about what triggered these attacks.  Hesham Gabr, head of the Chamber of Diving and Watersports, stated that the attacks were probably triggered by an activity, such as illegal fishing or feeding in the area.  The chamber has invited four U.S. shark experts to “assess and advise on the best course of action” following the attacks.

Volunteer dive expeditions have been organized in an effort to find the white tip shark responsible for the attacks.  Two sharks were caught and killed near the South Sinai National Park on the Sharm el-Sheikh coast on Friday, but they did not match pictures taken by someone diving with one of the injured snorkelers.  In the meantime, many areas in Sharm el- Sheikh will be open for experienced divers with at least 50 logged dives.

Photo by sharkbait.


About The Author

Christie Erdman, a guest contributor to the Healthy Travel blog, is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond with a degree in Economics and Marketing. She enjoys traveling, and had the opportunity to spend a semester studying at Universita Bocconi in Milan, Italy during her junior year.

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