12-Year-Old Tourist, Tour Guide Each Lose a Limb in Shark Attack Off Coast of Egypt

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

Getty Ras Mohammed National Park

A 12-year-old boy lost an arm and his tour guide lost a leg after a shark attacked them in the waters of a national park off the coast of Egypt.

The boy and the guide, along with the boy’s mother, were injured on Sunday after a shark pounced as they swam at Ras Mohammed National Park, Egypt’s Ministry of Environment said in a translated statement.

The mother-son pair were visiting from Ukraine, while the guide was from a local diving center in the nearby city of Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular tourist destination in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula along the Red Sea.

The statement said that the child was one of six people swimming in a group, and after he was attacked and injured, the group was forced to climb the shallow area of nearby coral reefs.

The boy was then attacked for a second time alongside his mother and the guide, and all three were transported to the hospital, according to the statement.

He lost his arm despite surgery to save it, and was in intensive care as of Monday, Ukraine’s State Agency for the Development of Tourism said, per the Associated Press.

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The man was snorkeling with family when he was bitten on the shoulder "almost immediately" upon entering the water

The AP also reported that the guide lost a leg, per an Egyptian health official, and the boy’s mother suffered minor injuries.

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The shark is believed to be an oceanic whitetip shark and about 6 feet long, the statement said.

Authorities added that after the incident, they turned to social media and found a video taken by a diving submarine that showed a female white fin shark about the same size acting with “abnormal” behavior hostile to humans.

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They believe the shark captured in the footage is the same one that attacked the group.

“The Ministry of Environment regrets the injuries suffered and wishes them a speedy recovery and sincere thanks and appreciation to all concerned authorities for their support to the staff,” the statement said.

Though shark attacks in the area are rare, a European tourist was reportedly killed by one near the same city in 2010.