A passenger on a Pennsylvania cruise ship died Tuesday after being attacked by a shark while diving with her family in the Bahamas, officials said.
The woman, a mother in her 50s who was aboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, was attacked off Green Cay, off the coast of Nassau, according to Royal Bahamas Police Force superintendent Chrislyn Skippings.
While the cruise ship was docked in Nassau, the family booked a tour with a local tour company that took them to a popular snorkeling area, he said.
Family members saw a shark attacking the woman and rushed to her rescue. Her mother suffered bites to her “upper extremities,” Skippings said.
Tour business operators and family members managed to get the woman onto the boat and rushed to the nearest dock, where paramedics responded and reported no vital signs, Skippings said.
“Royal Caribbean is providing support and assistance to guests’ loved ones during this difficult time,” the cruise line said in a statement. Harmony of the Seas is currently on a seven-night cruise after departing Port Canaveral, Florida on Sunday.
The beach where the attack took place has been closed, officials said, and the incident is under investigation.
a rare attack
Shark attacks remain extremely rare. The odds of being fatally attacked by the creature remain less than 1 in 4 million, according to the International Shark Attack File.
Last year, there were 73 confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, including 47 in the United States, which has the most documented unprovoked bites in the world, according to the Shark Attack File.
It’s unclear why sharks bite, but experts say many attacks are “cases of mistaken identity,” occurring in low water visibility, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Many of the bites occur when humans swim in or near large schools of prey. Sharks can also bite because they feel threatened and are just trying to defend themselves.
CNN’s Nouran Salahieh contributed to this report.
Source: CNN Brasil